SCAM ALERT: Members Of Jewish Community In NYC Recently Scammed – Some In Terrifying Incidents

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YWN has published dozens of warnings and articles over the years, yet there are still people that fall victim to the same types of scams. Just in the past two weeks, many people in the Jewish community have been victims of scams.

The scams have prompted Shomrim as well as former Assemblyman Dov Hikind to issue public alerts.

In one recent scam, the Boro Park Shomrim received a call on their hotline from a woman saying her husband is in the process of being scammed in Midtown Manhattan. Shomrim quickly alerted members in all neighborhoods, and members responded and found the victim – literally – as he was about to wire nearly $3,000 in cash (see attached photo) using Western Union. Thankfully, much grief for this victim was saved.

Unfortunately, there have been quite a few cases where the victims have in fact wired thousands of dollars (in each case) to scamsters operating overseas.

Williamsburg Shomrim released a message in Yiddish describing the scams:

Flatbush Shomrim released a message in English describing the scams:

There are many different types of scams, but they all demand one this: Wiring money through Western Union or other money-transferring services.

Former Assemblyman Dov Hikind says that a Brooklyn man says he received a terrifying threat from a stranger, threatening to kill him and his family if he didn’t hand over money. It began with a quick and eerie phone call from an anonymous person asking for money; then things quickly escalated. The man, who hid his face in fear during a press conference, says last week he got text messages with pictures of blood soaked and mangled people.

Along with those horrifying visuals, he received a demand for cash plus a list of his family members, his address, and a threat they’d be kill.

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Police sources say this type of message is common and was likely sent to many people. It’s often simply a method of intimidation, with scammers building personal profiles on victims from their social media pages to craft a convincing threat.

Another scam the FBI warns about are called “virtual kidnappings”, where the victim is told that your child has been abducted.

In one example YWN is aware about, a woman received a phone call from a con artist claiming to be a paramedic who is treating a young man. She gave him all the information he said he needed to identify the victim as her brother, including his name, the kind of car he drove, and the name and number of her father.

Then he used that information to turn around and call their father, claiming to have kidnapped the young man, and demanding money.

The father called his son’s cell phone, and learned he was safe.

Actual photo taken by Shomrim seconds before Jewish man was going to wire thousands of dollars

Another popular scam is the IRS Tax scam. This is when victims receive calls from persons claiming that they or a family member owe money for unpaid taxes. In these cases individuals are contacted by scammers claiming that they are federal employees and that the individual called owes money. These victims are told they can avoid arrest, foreclosure or suspension/termination of services if they make payment.

Scammers make it seem real as they may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number, and scammers “spoof” the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.

Recently, a new scam was used where individuals contacting the public on Long Island, identifying themselves as the New York State Police and requesting personal information. The number the individuals are calling from shows on caller ID as that of a State Police station, although the calls are not originating from the station.

Please share this article with friends and family to ensure that there are no further victims to these professional scam artists.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)




7 COMMENTS

  1. At this point, its obvious that some yidden simply want to throw away their money into a virtual hole in the internet. YWN has run literally dozens of stories over recent years warning about these scams along with the secular and religious media. You would have to be living on Mars not to have heard these repeated warnings with the details as to how some gullible yidden have parted with their money on obviously fraudulent scams. You can only do so much to protect people from their own stupidity.

  2. One can never do enough to protect people from their “stupidity”. Not everyone knows or constantly reads YWN. Also the victims are simple folk in regard to advanced technology. They are the type that still write out checks, buy stamps and pay their bills via snail-mail. They are naive to scams and crimes boosted by modern technology. I guess it is up to us -every individual- to spread the word and make sure to explain these things to our elders.
    All the best to all.

  3. Thank you YWN for sharing this. To the naysayers- when someone gets these crazy calls and/or messages, they can go into panic mode and turn over their money. You think these victims, or near victims, are just stupid?!

  4. Sasha: Its not just YWN…just about every network and local evening news program (watched primarily by older demographics) have run multiple stories and alerts on this issue. So have the Jewish and secular print media. Its been the subject of presentations at Men’s Clubs/Sisterhoods at shuls. Even the most “simple” folks (as you call them) cannot have missed these alerts. Most states have gone to great lengths (through their agencies focusing on “aging” to make presentations at bingo games or other events at senior centers. Yes, we can and should “spread the word” with those “simple” folk but at some point, there is so much we can do.

  5. Uncle Mo: If we all follow Sasha’s advice and reach out to our parents and any older members of the family and repeatedly remind them to ALWAYS check in with us or some other family members who are a bit more tech and legally savy, then the frequency of successful scams would decline. Its not the panic as much as simply as a small percentage of folks not having had it drilled over and over and over to NEVER respond to any request/demand for funds coming over the phone. Its a different time from prior generations where personal information wasn’t available online from hackers, etc., you couldn’t fake a phone number and yidden were trusting that people were who they said they were.

  6. Gadolhadorah: I understand what you are saying and I agree. Your reply to Unclemo was spot on. We do have to keep drilling the elders on the dangers of these new wave scams. Life as we knew it just a few decades ago has changed on a magnanimous scale that keeping up is difficult enough for the middle-agers not to mention the seniors.