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Suffolk Notebook: County Warns of Telephone Scams

Polics say callers pretend a family member needs money wired to them.

Suffolk County police this week said they have received an increased number of reports from locals who received calls asking them to wire money to relatives — a scam.

Police said the caller pretends to be acting on behalf of a family member who is supposedly in trouble, asking for the money to be wired while never disclosing where the family member actually is.

"In one scenario, the caller claims that they have just been in a motor vehicle crash with a relative of the victim who refuses to pay for the damage. The caller claims to be holding the relative at gunpoint until the victim pays several thousand dollars. Other scenarios may include the caller claiming a family member of the victim has been arrested and needs money for bail, or a family member owes someone money. The victim is asked to withdraw money from an ATM and the caller will guide them to an institution where they can wire money," police said in a statement.

The scam was first reported by police earlier in the month, but police said they are reissuing the warning due to reports that the scam is still targeting communities.

Suffolk Economic Council Comes to Life

The county this week announced that Astoria Federal Savings Bank Executive Elizabeth Custodio will serve as vice-chair of Suffolk's recently formed Economic Development Committee.

The committee, chaired by Babylon Town Industrial Development Agency chief Robert Stricoff, will advise County Executive Steve Bellone on economic development initiatives meant to spur job growth in the county.

“Elizabeth Custodio’s career in business and successful tenure at the Suffolk County IDA demonstrate that she understands the needs of the business community and how government works,” Bellone said in a statement. “Elizabeth and Bob will be trusted advisors to help make recommendations on policies to create jobs and improve Suffolk County’s economy.”

Custodio will step down from her IDA role.

Susan Camenzuli December 30, 2012 at 12:19 PM
This happened to my Aunt last year. She received a phone call from someone who claimed to be her grandson. He explained his voice was diffrent because he was in a NYC jail and he was frightened. They seemed know an awful lot about her family because of Facebook (his father is a top neurosurgeon in the city.... She paid the money and only found out a day later it was a hoax. If you are called by someone claiming to be a relative or from someone claiming to be a PO with your relative in their custody...CALL that relative ASAP. Use land lines AND Cell phones. Then call the precient that claims to have your loved one in custody. A little detective work can go a long way...My aunt was so embarassed she was tricked out of $2500. A lot of money for someone living on SS income :(
Michael Dwells January 27, 2013 at 10:36 AM
There's another scam which people should be aware of. This involves impersonating a police officer and is called the fake DEA scam call. Based on the complaints posted at http://www.callercenter.com , the scammers call victims who may have previously purchased drugs over the lnternet and identify themselves as DEA agents. The scammers then inform their victims that buying drugs over the lnternet is illegal and that legal action will be taken against them unless they pay a fine. In most cases, the scammers instruct their victims to pay the "fine" via wire transfer. If the victims refuse to send money, the scammers often threaten to arrest them or search their property.

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