There have been more than 100 cases statewide where seniors were defrauded of nearly a million dollars in the past three months.
In one case, a woman in her 70s from the Kendall Park section of South Brunswick was called by a suspect pretending to be a lawyer. The suspect said the women’s son had been arrested and she needed to post nearly $20,000 in cash. The suspect came to her home and she turned over the cash, according to information provided by the South Brunswick Police Department.
South Brunswick detectives learned the license plate of the car the suspect came in. Detectives worked with the FBI and the New Jersey State Police to locate the suspect, a 41-year-old male from the Bronx, New York.
He was arrested in North Jersey less than an hour from when the victim gave him the money. Detectives, with the assistance of the Middlesex County Prosecutors Office, executed a search warrant on the vehicle he was traveling in and recovered the victim’s money, according to the statement.
There are a variety of scams being attempted, some of which include:
The Bail Bond Scam: The criminal will call the victim on the phone and explain their grandchild was arrested. The criminal may or may not provide the grandchild’s name. In some cases, a person was placed on the phone pretending to be the grandchild as proof they were arrested. The criminal will ask that the person pay money in order for the grandchild to be released from jail and ask for the person’s home address to pick up the money. The criminal may give instructions on what to say to a bank teller if he/she questions you on why you are taking out the cash The criminal may also instruct you to act upset and angry or to tell the bank employee that it is none of their business as to why you are taking out the money.
The IRS Scam: The criminal will call the victim and tell them that they owe the government money, and if they don’t pay they will be arrested. To avoid being arrested the victim is directed to pay their debt by way of a MoneyGram or gift cards. The IRS will never call a person directly and pressure that person into settling a tax debt with a MoneyGram or gift card.
If anyone calls, texts or emails whom is not personally known looking for money, call a relative, a close friend or call the police, according to the statement. Another person not directly involved may have a better perspective on the situation and be more likely to see through any potential scam attempt.
The South Brunswick Police Department is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 732-329-4646.