NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The NYPD says it’s searching for scammers who have been telling people their relatives are in trouble and need cash.

At least 15 incidents have been reported this month across the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. The victims range in age from their 50s to 90s.

One suspect was captured on surveillance cameras in two incidents approaching homes. Investigators believe he has been working with others in the grand larceny pattern.

Police said the suspects called the victims, claiming their relatives were having legal trouble and needed financial assistance for bail, lawyers and other “false promise situations.”

The suspects then allegedly met the victims at their homes and other locations to pick up the money, collecting anywhere from about $3,000 to nearly $10,000.

The NYPD says family emergency impostor phone scams are a persistent problem. If you are contacted by someone demanding money, check the story with another family member and report it to police.

Anyone with information about the crime spree is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) for Spanish. You can also submit a tip via the Crime Stoppers website, by tweeting @NYPDTips or by texting 274637.


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