Reports of Elder Exploitation

This list represents only what has been reported to us and is by no means all inclusive of those crimes occurring throughout the United States and Canada.  

(05/04/2020) This week we have ten Family Member in Distress reports, all in New Jersey; two of which involve COVID-19 scams.

FAMILY MEMBER IN DISTRESS

Family Member in Distress/COVID-19 Scam, Roxbury, NJ:

A scammer called the victim and explained that her son was arrested for aggravated assault after he rear ended an undercover police officer with his vehicle. The scammer further explained the officer's wife contacted an attorney because of the accident. The caller, who identified himself as an employee of Chance Bail Bonds, told the victim her son was in jail and the bail amount for his release was set at $10,500. The caller also told the victim a courier would respond to her home to pick up the money. The caller explained "Chance Bail Bonds" recently began the courier service to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The next day, the victim received another phone call advising she would need to pay an additional $25,000 for her son to be released from jail. The caller explained the officer's wife sued for damages and won the $25,000 settlement. The victim told the caller she would withdraw the money from her bank and call once the money was ready. At this time police were notified and intervened.
STATUS: Under investigation

Family Member in Distress Scam, Nutley, NJ:

On 04/27/2020, An elder scam occurred where the victim gave $5,000 cash to bail out her grandson who was allegedly involved in an auto accident. The suspect stated her grandson was being held in Newark on a $5,000 warrant. The suspect was described as an Hispanic male, 5-8, thin, wearing a surgical mask and gloves due to the Covid-19. It seems like they have been hitting a few different towns in NJ.
STATUS: Under investigation

Family Member in Distress Scam, Bound Brook, NJ:

On 04/28/2020, an elderly couple received a phone call from a man whom they believed was helping their grandson. Caller claimed to be a Public Defender and said that their grandson was arrested, and they needed $18,800 in cash for bail. The caller stated that a courier would come to their home to pick up the money. The courier was described as a Hispanic male, 6-0, thin and driving a white Toyota Prius.
STATUS: Under investigation

Family Member in Distress Scam, Gloucester, NJ:

Gloucester Township is investigating an elder scam that occurred on 04/27/2020. The victim was contacted by a suspect impersonating their grandson, who was currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Air Force. The suspect advised that he needed money and is being held for a crime. Victims withdrew $27,000 in cash from their bank and were met by a suspect at their residence. The suspect was described as an Hispanic male, wearing a medical face mask and gloves. The suspect received the money and then left.
STATUS: Under investigation

Family Member in Distress Scam, Cherry Hill, NJ:

On 04/23/2020, a 75-year-old male received a phone call from a suspect saying his granddaughter was arrested for causing a motor vehicle accident by using a cell phone while driving. The victim provided $10,300 cash for bail to the suspect who was described as a Hispanic male, 25-30, with short brown or black hair and light facial hair. He may have been involved in similar frauds in Gloucester Township, Nutley, and Bound Brook (all in NJ).
STATUS: Under investigation

Family Member in Distress Scam, Wantage, NJ:

On 04/17/2020, An elderly couple was scammed out of $26,000. In this case, an alleged lawyer by the name of Richard SULLIVAN called the elderly couple and explained that their grandchild was arrested and needed bail money. The victims agreed to help. The lawyer told them that he is sending a bail bondsman to their residence to get the money. The victims gave the money but were suspicious enough to get a cell phone picture of the suspect.
STATUS: Under investigation

Family Member in Distress Scam, Hunterdon County, NJ:

On 04/28/2020, elderly victims received a phone call regarding "bail money for their grandson." The suspects used an alias' for the bail bondsman and judge, and ABC Bonds out of Trenton, NJ. The suspects claimed that the grandson was involved in an accident, was charged with violations and placed in jail. The victims paid $12,100 in cash.

Further investigation revealed that the suspect vehicle initially pulled into a neighbor's driveway and interacted with the resident for a short period of time. The neighbor also described the vehicle as a black sedan with NY license plates. The neighbor briefly interacted with a suspect that she described as possibly a middle eastern male with broken English.
STATUS: Under investigation

Family Member in Distress Scam, Edison, NJ:

While investigating a Family Member in Distress Scam, this agency encountered the suspects as they were attempting to collect cash from the victim. Additionally, on Monday, 4/27/20, one suspect was captured on a Ring camera while receiving $15,000 cash from the victim of another scam. The other suspects were stopped in a black 2014 BMW 550 and admitted to conducting the scam and receiving the funds. Further investigation revealed them to be heavily involved with the Dominican Trinitarios.
STATUS: Under investigation

Family Member in Distress Scam, Bergenfield, NJ:

An elderly phone scam occurred on 04/24/2020. The victim, a 73-year-old male, was called by a man identified only as "Mike" claiming to be his granddaughter's attorney. The caller told the victim that his granddaughter was involved in an accident with pending criminal charges. The caller told the victim he needed $10,000 in bail money which the victim provided.
STATUS: Under investigation

Family Member in Distress Scam, Clinton, NJ:

A supect called the and told him that he was a court official from New York. He told the victim that his grandson was involved in a drunk driving motor vehicle crash and that he needed $5,000 in cash for the grandson's bail. The victim mailed the cash and but investigators stopped the package in transit with the assistance of the Postal Inspectors Office. The victim began receiving calls demanding more money. The suspect stated he would send a courier to his residence to pick up the money and was arrested when he tried to collect the victim's money.
STATUS: Arrest made

That's all for now. Stay safe.


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