Senior scams: Swindler cons Manhattan man out of $9,500 with fake claim that son needed bail money, NYPD says

The alleged scammer who stole $9,500 from a senior in Manhattan.
The alleged scammer who stole $9,500 from a senior in Manhattan.
Photo courtesy of the NYPD

A 74-year-old Manhattan man lost nearly $10,000 to a classic senior phone scam in which a con man duped him into believing that his son had been arrested and needed to post bail, police reported.

According to the investigation, the swindler called the victim at around 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 15 and claimed that his son was under arrest — before demanding $9,500 to bail the son out of jail.

The victim quickly got the money together and handed it over to the suspect near W. 62nd Street and Riverside Boulevard in Lincoln Square, according to police. 

Once the suspect sped off in his Honda SUV, the victim realized that his son was not actually under arrest, and he had been scammed, cops said. 

This type of scheme is common, and often targets grandparents and elderly victims, according to the identity theft-protection company Aura, which says that nearly 500,000 American seniors fall victim to fraud each year. 

The company encourages potential victims to look out for red flags, such as fraudsters not identifying themselves right away; lacking specific information about the allegedly-arrested family member; and demanding that the victim not tell anyone about the communications. 

Potential victims are encouraged to make direct contact with the family member they are supposedly helping, and deal only with officially recognized parties, such as government agencies. 

No arrests have been made in this case, and the investigation remains ongoing. 

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website, on Twitter @NYPDTips.