Cops seek scammer who has stolen thousands of dollars from elderly residents in citywide scheme

314-20 Citywide GL Pattern Pictue
A police sketch of an unidentified man who came to collect money from an elderly man in Auburndale. (Courtesy of the NYPD).

The NYPD is looking for the man behind a citywide scheme to scam elderly folks into handing over tens of thousands of dollars.

The scam, which has been run in Auburndale in Queens, Yorkville in Manhattan and Concord in Staten Island, involves a phone call to an elderly individual, a plea for money from someone pretending to be related to the victim and a courier to collect the money, according to the police. In all, the wanted individual has made off with more than $100,000.

On Wednesday, Oct. 23, a 77-year-old woman in the vicinity of Radcliff Road and Briarcliff Road in Concord received a call from someone she believed to be her nephew around 11 a.m. The caller said that he had been arrested, and needed money for bail. The woman went to a bank, withdrew $12,000 and handed it over to a courier back at her home, according to the authorities.

Video from the incident was obtained by the NYPD.

About a week later, on Nov. 2, an 81-year-old woman in Yorkville got a call from someone who claimed to be her grandson around 4 p.m. The grandson told the woman that he wanted her to speak to her lawyer and she agreed, cops say. A man claiming to be a criminal defense lawyer told the woman that he’d need $30,600 to protect her grandson from facing criminal charges.

The woman complied and agreed to hand the money over to a courier, who arrived at her door later in the day.

But the scam wasn’t over.

The person posing as the lawyer called back and requested an additional $33,600 from the woman, claiming her grandson needed money for rehab and medical expenses. The woman agreed, the courier returned, and the scammer made off with a total of $64,200.

On Nov. 8, around 10 a.m., an 81-year-old Auburndale man received a call from an unidentified man claiming to be a lawyer representing the elderly man’s grandson, according to the NYPD. The lawyer asked that the victim mail him $12,500 but also offered to have a courier come get the cash.

The courier later arrived at the victim’s home and took the money. But the scam continued, as the 81-year-old man received another call and another request for $12,500 to be sent in the mail to Georgia. The man complied.

The investigation into grand larceny is ongoing.

Anyone with information in regard to the identity of this male is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or on Twitter @NYPDTips.

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