The 109th Precinct has taken to social media to warn the community about a phone scam which has successfully swindled cash out of three elderly local victims.
Scammers have been placing calls to the home phone numbers of elderly victims in the past week, according to a statement on the 109th Precinct Community Council Facebook page.
Citing information provided by Deputy Inspector Thomas Conforti, the 109th Precinct commanding officer, the statement indicated that callers trick victims into believing that one of their grandchildren has been arrested in the Dominican Republic. The scammers then instruct the elder family member to wire thousands in cash as purported bail money to ensure their release from jail.
“The best way to combat this scam is simply to hang up and then call your relative to verify that they are OK,” the statement read. “NEVER send money over the phone.”
The thieves make the scam more believable by providing victims with real names and birthdates of all the parties involved.
Three people in the 109th Precinct—which includes downtown Flushing and east Flushing, Queensboro Hill, College Point, Malba, Whitestone, Beechhurst and Bay Terrace—have fallen prey to these scams thus far, according to the post.