With a growing number of victims and targeted residents in New York City, the NYPD is urging folks to be on high alert for scammers trying every trick in the book — including some new ones — to steal money from unsuspecting people.
The police department has launched a 24/7 scam hotline as it anticipates the scam artists’ attempts will only escalate over the holiday season.
“On the scam front, we see several that are prevalent right now,” said NYPD Chief Kenneth Corey, who is helping lead the urgent campaign. “Almost all of them take place over the phone or online.”
The professional scam artists usually call or email, telling the target their loved one is in danger or they’re overdue on bills and face immediate action. But there are key things to remember.
“These people can be very convincing. They’re professionals, this is what they do. They glean a small amount of information off social media and so they know that you’re grandson’s name is Johnny,” said Corey. “When somebody tells you to go to the store and buy gift cards, hang up the phone.”
Making the rounds across all five boroughs, the NYPD community affairs team spreading the word about these email and phone scams with information on how to stay safe. Many times the crimes go unreported, because the victims are embarrassed that they were swindled.
With the message being pushed across the city, Chief Corey hopes to change that sentiment, and to spare New Yorkers of financial pain this holiday season.
“We all have to look out for each other in this city, and that’s how we make our city safer,” he said.