BEWARE: Scammer Targets Brooklyn’s Frum Communities

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nypd logo 2.jpgIt has been brought to the attention of Yeshiva World News, that there is a scammer who is targeting the Frum communites – Brooklyn in particular – and people should be aware of the following:

The scammer is apparently in possession of a Frum telephone directory, and calls people who have Food Stamps, and his conversation goes something like this:

Hello Mrs Weiss? “This is John Doe (makes up bogus name) from Social Services. We have been trying to contact you many times, regarding your Food Stamps account, and you have missed your appointment to meet with us to straighten this all out. Unfortunately, we will have to terminate you from the Food Stamps program.”

(If the woman says that she does not have Food Stamps, she tells him so – and he just hangs up. If she does have it, he continues.)

At this point, the unsuspecting woman gets all panicky and says: “I never got any calls from you. Is there anyway that we can please work this out.”

John Doe responds: “Let me see…….

Oh OK. My computer says that we can do this now over the phone.”

He then very easily gets the woman’s Food Stamps number – along with her 4-digit-pin-number (issued to her by the Government to to use food stamps), social security number, and other personal information.

“OK. Seems that everything is back in place now. You have been placed back into the program”.

She hangs up the phone – all thankful that she was reinstated into the programs – but does not realize what has just taken place.

John Doe than goes into a supermarket and buys anything he needs and tells the cashier that he does not have his food stamp card with him – and just gives them the account number along with the 4-digit-pin-number belonging to Mrs. Weiss. They usually accept it, and Mrs. Weiss then loses all her Government issued money for the month.

The FBI, and NYPD have already been contacted and are currently working on the case. If you, or anyone you know has received this telephone call, please make a police report immediately.

Please pass this info to as many people as possible.

NOTE: He has targeted people in Williamsburg, Boro Park, Sea-Gate and other areas already. 

(YW-90)


14 COMMENTS

  1. fyi – this is a variation on the credit card scam that essentially does the same thing. If it is legit, they will not mind if you tell them that you are going to call back on the number on the back of your card.

    I had a discover card that I didn’t use for years, when I started using it again we had 2 or 3 larger purchases, they stopped the card (for security reasons) and called me. I called back the number, it was a legit call and the charges were legit – so they re-activiated the card.

    have a wonderful Shabbos to all my friends out there.

  2. Standard phishing scam.

    NEVER, EVER, give personal information (SSN, credit card number, etc.) over the phone to anyone representing a vendor or government agency. These bona fide organizations NEVER request such information over the phone unless YOU call THEM.

  3. I feel bad for people that fall for these scams. If any person tries to contact me and identifies themselves as a government worker, its a scam before they even continue. I will tell you why. When ever there is an issue with a person’s account a letter will ALWAYS be mailed . They never call.
    I can’t understand why a store will take a foodstamp number without seeing neccessary ID. Can I walk into a supermarket and verbally give them a credit card number and tell them that its mine, they won’t buy it. But then again its probably one of these shady stores where the owner is probably from Pakistan or Bangladesh and figured he will make the extra buck and disregard the thought that it might be fraud.

  4. #6, it might have something to do with the greed of making money.

    What I don’t understand is why a store is allowed to just “punch in” the numbers (like a credit card). In days of actual food stamps (coupons) a store was required to see ID (although most never asked for it).

    I hope all those in NEED of food stamps will have a complete turn around and receive them from Shomayim instead of Basar V’Dam.

  5. Yaakov Avino went over the river to go get his dsmall kelim- becuase people are not ready to part with money earned with the sweat of their brow.

    Everyone knows not to give personal information over the phone. If someone values their programs and benifits they will make sure to send in their reregistration papers and requirements imediately, and they will probably call the next day to make sure that it arrives. Thats what people do with whats valuable to them, like mortgages, credit card bills, etc.

    They would be so careful about it that they would know to read just a little bit of their card and literature they recieve and know not to give any information out over the phone.

  6. Rav Mechel, firstly he started offsaying that he tried to contact them ….could be by letter. and yes many stores in frum neighborhoods trust a ehrlich looking person becuase how else would he get the number?!? (not every trusting is a swindler)

  7. My wife gets food stamps, and I can’t use her card in any regular store (like Pathmark), they don’t let. However, jewish stores allow me with no problem even though it’s not my picture on the card (unless since getting the card I trimmed my hair and let the beard grow…). Now at times it’s convenient for me, but what if someone remotely frum looking got a hold of her card and pin? He would not have any problem using it in a jewish store.