In the past two weeks, many people in the Jewish community have been victims of scams, prompting 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 scammers operating overseas.
There are many different types of scams, but they all demand one this: Wiring money through Western Union or other money-transferring services, Shomrim warns.
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 killed.
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.
PSA: ‘DEATH-THREAT’ EXTORTION SCAM – this man received texts w/ gruesome images along with his name, names of his family members & their address along with a message that threatened to murder him if he didn’t pay up!
If u or anyone u know received similar msgs pls contact NYPD pic.twitter.com/6OVEY8aiQr
— Dov Hikind (@HikindDov) August 14, 2019
Scam alert pic.twitter.com/eRRIGNV4AM
— Williamsburg Shomrim (@WspuShomrim) August 14, 2019