2018-08-22 / Features

Hunt ‘Jail Bail’ Phone Scammers

Police are warning the public to beware of phone scammers who attempt to con cash out of unsuspecting victims by calling family members to say that a son or daughter was arrested and needs cash for bail.

Officials said the scammers pose as an attorney during a second call, where they let family members know how much it will cost them to get the person out of jail. The caller then arranges a time and place to pick up the cash, police said.

Police are urging anyone who receives such a call to alert local police – providing the time and date of the initial call and a call-back number, when possible.

Police said the suspects scammed a 90-year-old Long Island City woman out of $7,500 just last week.

One of the scammers called the woman on August 14 and told her that her son had been arrested in connection with a “car crash,” police said. A second caller, posing as her son’s attorney, told the woman that her son needed the cash to get out of jail and arranged to make a pickup later that day. The suspect was caught on surveillance footage going to and from the woman’s 36th Avenue apartment at about 2:30 pm the same day, police said.

The woman learned later on that her son had not been involved in a car crash and that he had not been arrested or jailed, police said. The son then alerted police.

The man who retrieved the cash is described as a white male, about 5 feet, 10 inches tall, with short brown hair.

Police are urging anyone with information to call the CrimeStoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or click on www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.—Liz Goff

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