The Suffolk County Police Department is warning residents of telephone scams during which people are asked to wire money immediately for a family member in trouble.
Police say a potential victim will receive a telephone call from someone claiming that they know a family member who is somehow in trouble and needs money wired immediately and then the caller attempts to pressure the victim to send money without verifying the family member’s whereabouts.
In one scenario, police say 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.
Investigations have determined that the victims are often randomly selected and the caller is usually able to convince the target that the scenario is real, according to police.
These types of scams have been reported throughout the nation and the Suffolk County Police Department has knowledge of several similar incidents that have occurred locally during the past few years.
The Suffolk County Police Department advises residents to independently verify the threatened relative’s whereabouts and not to give out any personal information during the call. If someone receives a call of this nature, they are advised to call the Suffolk County Police Department for further investigation.