PLEASANTVILLE, NY — Pleasantville police warn of an old scam with a new twist that is now making its way around the village targeting older people as victims.
“Over the past few days, some of our local residents have received phone calls from ‘the police’ stating that their loved ones have been arrested and need bail money to be released,” police said in a notice to residents.
In these most recent incidents, the perpetrators responded personally to the victim’s home to retrieve the money, police said.
The grandparent scam is “simple, yet very devious” in that it “exploits that relationship a grandparent has with a grandchild,” Randy Brauer of the National Council on Aging told Patch for a previous story. Older Americans are a target of choice among con artists, partially because they’re seen as vulnerable, but primarily because of the perception “they’re sitting on piles of money,” Brauer said.
Pleasantville police asked residents to have conversations with older family members and neighbors about these scams.
In addition, they urge anyone who is suspicious of any interaction, with themselves or someone else, to call the Police Department immediately at (914) 769-1500.
“The sooner we know of the situation, the more likely we are able to take positive action,” police said.
The Federal Trade Commission offers this advice:
- Resist the urge to act immediately.
- Verify the caller’s identity. Ask questions that a stranger couldn’t possibly answer.
- Call a phone number for your family member or friend.
- Check the story out with someone else in your family or friends.
- Don’t send cash, gift cards, or money transfers – once the scammer gets the money, it’s gone.
For more information, read Family Emergency Scams. And if you get a scam call, report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
Beth Dalbey, Patch Staff, contributed to this report.
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