Tags Posts tagged with "Elder Scam"

Elder Scam

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Jarnail Singh

Suffolk County Police arrested a Queens man on Feb. 1 for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from two elderly people during a computer scam.

A 77-year-old Amityville man received an email, purportedly from the Geek Squad, reporting a charge
of $399. The victim called the phone number provided in the email to dispute the charge. The person
who answered the call directed the victim to log into his bank account from his computer so the funds
could be returned. Once the man logged on, the suspect gained access to the man’s bank accounts and
transferred $40,000 from one of the man’s accounts to the other, without the victim realizing what had
been done.

The representative on the phone convinced the man that the additional funds were transferred
in error and the victim was to provide him with the cash. The suspect picked up $20,000 in cash at the
victim’s home on January 29. The following day, the victim provided $5,000 in gift cards by phone. On
January 31, an additional $20,000 was withdrawn from the victim’s account.

A 74-year-old Bay Shore woman was a victim of the same scam on January 31. She met the suspect in a
parking lot and she gave $13,000. The following day, she was contacted again and told to withdraw an
additional $20,000. Bank officials became concerned during the second withdrawal and contacted
police.

Financial Crimes detectives, Third Precinct officers and Canine Section officers responded to the pickup
location, a parking lot on East Main Street in East Islip, and Jarnail Singh was arrested. The $20,000 was
intercepted by police.

Singh, 21, of South Ozone Park, was charged with Grand Larceny 3rd Degree and Attempted Grand Larceny 3rd Degree. He will be arraigned today at First District Court in Central Islip.

The investigation is continuing. Anyone who believes they are a victim of this scam should contact Financial Crimes at 631-852-6821 or Crime Stoppers 1-800-220-TIPS.

Photo from SCPD
 Suffolk County Police arrested a man on Aug. 23 for allegedly scamming two people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gold bars and cash in Huntington and Kings Park.
Yash Shah

A 72-year-old Huntington woman received a notice on her computer on June 16, informing her that her computer had been compromised and she needed to contact Microsoft. The victim called who she believed to be Microsoft, and a person told the woman that her computer contained child pornography and porn sites. After numerous conversations, she met a man and gave him $35,000. The woman eventually believed she was being scammed, and filed a police report.

Financial Crimes Unit detectives investigated and determined Yash Shah was allegedly responsible for picking up the money from the scam.

After receiving a search warrant on his phone, detectives identified a 73-year- old Kings Park woman was scammed out of approximately $430,000, including $277,000 worth of gold bars on July 20. The woman was also told she had child pornography on her computer. Detectives contacted the woman, who was about to deliver an additional $260,000 to the scammers. The woman initially did not believe the detectives were from the Suffolk County Police Department and had to be convinced by a family member that she was being scammed.

Detectives believe Shah is working with other people.

Shah, 25, of Baldwin, was charged with Grand Larceny 2nd Degree and Grand Larceny 3rd Degree, and two counts of Conspiracy 5th Degree. Detectives are asking anyone who felt they might have been scammed to contact the Financial Crimes Unit at 631-852-6821.

 

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Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney announced on April 28 that his office’s Financial Crimes Bureau, in partnership with the Suffolk County Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit, were able to recover $140,000 and return it back to an 87-year-old Suffolk County victim of a phone scam and warns the public to very skeptical if they face similar circumstances.

“Scammers are becoming more and more sophisticated, and they are preying on our vulnerable elderly population. The public needs be made aware of how they operate so they can take precautions to safeguard their funds if they are targeted,” said District Attorney Tierney.

“Due to the diligence and timely efforts of law enforcement partners, we were able to recover $140,000 here and provide it back to the victim. To avoid being scammed, any time you receive a phone call or communication where the person requests your personal information, money, or requests a transfer of funds, stop that line of communication. Hang up the phone. Do not respond to that e- mail or text. Take a moment to slow down and be skeptical. Call your bank or the agency that the scammer says they are from using published phone numbers (not a phone number the scammer gives you). Consult an expert or law enforcement, or just speak with your dependable friends or relatives about the phone conversation before accepting the story as true and sending money,” he said.

According to the investigation, the scam here began in July 2022, when the elderly victim was told by someone purporting to be from her bank that her account had been flagged, and she was instructed to call a number for “FBI Special Agent Johnson.” The victim, who is from Setauket, asked that her identity be kept confidential.

When the victim called the number provided by the scammer, the purported “FBI agent” advised the victim that someone had stolen her identity in order to rent a vehicle which was recovered in Texas with drugs and blood found in it. The phony agent further directed the victim that to protect her savings from the thieves who had stolen her social security number and identity, she needed to send her money to others for safekeeping and to pay for a new social security number.

The scammer established a rapport with the Suffolk County victim by calling every day to check up on her. The scammer’s efforts ramped up when he told her that there was a “gag order” placed on her, so she would not divulge “confidential information” on an “open investigation.” The scammer also sent her confirmation letters of transactions between the two on counterfeit FBI letterhead. In total, the victim sent the scammer cashier’s checks totaling over $650,000.

In December 2022, an Adult Protective Services Investigator from South Bend, Indiana, reached out to a Suffolk County Police Department Financial Crimes Unit detective to alert her that that while Indiana authorities were investigating a phone scammer case, they had obtained the name of the Suffolk County woman, who may have also been a victim. The victim here was initially apprehensive to talk to the Suffolk County detective because she had already been manipulated by the scammer on the phone who warned her the detective may be a con artist. Once the victim confirmed that the detective was a legitimate member of law enforcement, the victim described the elaborate scheme that had led to her sending more $650,000 to the fraudulent “FBI agent.”

The District Attorney’s Financial Crimes Bureau prepared a seizure order which seized $115,000 from a South Bend bank account, which represented some of the monies sent by the Suffolk County victim. Those funds were returned to the victim. Investigators on this case also learned that the victim had sent a cashier’s check for $25,000 to a location in Queens, New York.

After discovering that the package with the check was still in transit, detectives worked in unison with FedEx authorities to intercept that package before it was delivered and returned the $25,000 check to the elderly Suffolk County victim.

If you or someone you know may have been a victim of this or any scam, please call the Suffolk County Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit at 631-852-6821.

 

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Photo from SCPD

Suffolk County Police Financial Crimes Unit detectives are investigating a scam during which a Pennsylvania woman sent cash to an address in Suffolk County.

Detectives intercepted a package, wrapped as a present, at 11:40 a.m. on April 26 that contained $5,000 in cash. The package was sent by a 79-year-old Olyphant, Pennsylvania woman, who said she sent the money after receiving a call directing her to send the cash to a Coram address.

The victim did not disclose the nature of the conversation or why the caller said she needed to send the money. The money will be returned to the victim.

Detectives are asking anyone who believes they may be a victim of a scam or have information about a scam to call the Financial Crimes Unit at 631-852-6821.

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Suffolk County Police have arrested a man for allegedly attempting to scam an elderly woman out of $10,000 on April 14.

A 79-year-old woman flagged down Fifth Precinct Sergeant Christopher Racioppo, who was on routine patrol, at approximately 1:30 p.m., and informed him that she was on the phone with a man who had contacted her the night before via email about a purported fraudulent PayPal charge on her account, and had instructed her to withdraw $10,000 cash from her bank account. Believing this was a scam, Sgt. Racioppo escorted her to her bank in Patchogue to confirm she had not yet lost any money, then to the Fifth Precinct for further investigation.

Fifth Precinct Anti-Crime Team, Crime Section officers, and Financial Crimes detectives set up a sting operation, along with Sgt. Racioppo, who kept the suspect on the phone and arranged a meeting with him at a local 7-Eleven, where the suspect arrived in a Mercedes SUV and identified himself.

Following an investigation, he was arrested, along with a female suspect, who was a passenger in the Mercedes. Taidong Lin, 46, of Flushing, was charged with attempted Grand Larceny 3 rd Degree and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7 th Degree. Xiuying Lin, 36, of Flushing, was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7 th Degree.

The investigation is continuing. Anyone who has additional information, or who believes they may have been a victim, is asked to call Financial Crimes detectives at 631-852-6821.

A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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Pixabay photo

Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney announced on March 1 the guilty plea of Ivan A. Inoasuero, 31, of Manhattan, for his role in a scam in which two elderly Suffolk County residents received phone calls where they were falsely informed that their grandchildren had been arrested in a different jurisdiction and they needed to send large sums of money to post their bail immediately.

Ivan Inoasuero. Photo from Suffolk County DA’s office

“Since taking office in January of last year, I have been shocked and dismayed to see the degree in which fraudsters are targeting our elderly residents to steal money,” said District Attorney Tierney. “If you target the elderly in Suffolk County and fraudulently steal their money, you will be held responsible and required to pay back the money you stole.”

According to the investigation and the defendant’s admissions during his guilty plea allocution, Inoasuero posed as a bail bondsman and came to the Smithtown home of the first victim in April 2021 to pick up $15,000 where the elderly woman believed she was posting bail for her grandson. Inosuero again posed as a bail bondsman in December 2021 when he met a Stony Brook resident at MacArthur Airport to pick up $20,000 where again, the elderly man believed he was posting bail for his grandson.

On March 1,  Inoasuero pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a Class D felony. He is due back in court on April 26 for sentencing. Inoasuero will be required to pay restitution back to the victims and if he does not, he faces up to two and a half to seven years in prison.

Criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusatory instruments. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. No one is above the law.

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Federal authorities have entered permanent injunctions against 15 individuals and ordered them to cease their involvement in multi-million-dollar mail fraud schemes. 

Anthony Kafeiti, of Port Jefferson, and Steven Diaz, of Mount Sinai, coordinated the schemes, according to federal officials. Documents show the individuals targeted elderly by falsely stating that they won large sums of money in exchange for a fee, but never gave the victim’s their winnings.

The schemes grossed $4.8 million in fraudulent proceedings over the past year, according to authorities.

“These permanent injunctions stop unscrupulous individuals and companies from conducting fraudulent solicitation schemes that targeted the elderly in our district and throughout the country and the world,” said U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue of the Eastern District of New York. “This office will continue to use all available resources to protect victims of get-rich-quick schemes.”

Officials said the 15 individuals participated in the schemes in a variety of ways, including facilitating the mailing of fraudulent solicitations that victimized the elderly or vulnerable. The solicitations informed recipients throughout the world that they had won multi-million-dollar cash prizes but needed urgently to pay a fee to claim their winnings. Although victims sent in the requested fees by cash, check or credit card, they did not receive large cash prizes in return. 

Some 10 other individuals and companies were connected to the scheme, some were located in Germany, Las Vegas and Vancouver, British Columbia. 

The permanent injunctions were issued after the district court granted the government’s request for a temporary restraining order in November 2018. The injunctions prohibit those individuals from sending fraudulent solicitations, receiving, handling or opening any victim mail responding to solicitations and using or benefiting from lists of victims who previously responded to solicitations. The injunction also authorizes the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to open mail that was detained by law enforcement and return payments to the victims of the schemes.

“These defendants were making misleading promises of easy money,” said Delany De Leon-Colon, inspector in charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service Criminal Investigations Group. “Anyone who engages in deceptive practices like this should know they will not go undetected and will be held accountable, regardless of where they are.”

Attorneys for the two individuals named in the alleged scam could not be reached
for comment.