In the past few months we have seen an increase in scams targeting White Plains Residents at their homes.
Because of the ongoing pandemic, people are staying home a lot more, especially the elderly. In most cases it is nearly impossible to track the subjects who are conducting these scams and when we do succeed we find out that the scam was originated outside of the United States.
The following are some of the most common scams that we are encountering...
COVID-19 Vaccination Scam
We have been receiving complaints from residents regarding automated phone calls they have been receiving, specifically to cell phones, inquiring into whether or not they are interested in getting the Covid-19 vaccine. We are asking all residents to NOT ENGAGE in a conversation and have identified that this is a fraud scam and an attempt to gain personal information from individuals. To this date, individuals are not being contacted electronically to make appointments for the vaccine.
The Bail or Ransom Scam
Nine out ten times the targets are parents or grandparents. Simply by placing fear in the victim by telling that a loved one has been arrested and needs bail or telling them that a loved one has been kidnapped. In these cases the scammer calls from a internet generated phone number sometimes masking itself as a local number. Once the victim falls for it they are directed to either withdraw money or meet a subject at a location or in the most brazen cases the scammer or someone working with the scam picks up the money. Other cases they have the victim wire money or send via Western union. It is important to know that no lawyer or anyone working with the Police will ever call you asking for cash for bail without you speaking to your loved one. In both cases hang up and try to call your loved one or the Police.
Amazon / Apple Scam
The victim will receive a phone call stating that the caller is either and Amazon or Apple support representative. They advise the victim of an issue with their account or a package and they need to contact Amazon or Apple support, they provide a number which is not a real number to either Apple or Amazon. Then they will ask you to verify your identity by providing your name and account numbers and once that’s given, money will start to disappear from your bank accounts. Note that Apple Support or Amazon will never contact you via telephone. When in doubt hang up and call the real Amazon or Apple support numbers by simply doing an internet search. Or contact someone that can help you like a family member.
Dating / Romance Scam
Due to the pandemic, there’s lots of people alone in their homes unable to be with loved ones. Scammers specifically from other countries have infiltrated dating sites creating fake accounts. Once they gain the victims trust providing fake pictures and constantly showing affection via text or phone calls, they start by asking for loans or money for a project that will paid back later on. Never send money to anyone that you don’t know, never provide your full name or identity or address to someone you just met on any of these dating sites. A dead giveaway that this is a scam is simply the mention of money.
Due to the pandemic the real estate market has experienced and unprecedented boom. Scammers also have taken advantage by listing apartments or homes that are not vacant and scamming possible renters out of their hard earned money via Craigslist or other internet sites. Simple giveaways that you are being scammed, owner live in another state and wants money via Zelle or money apps, you can’t see the apartment due to the pandemic, the keys will be mailed to you. Most of the time a simple internet search will show that the apartment or homes are not vacant.
Bank Text Scam
The victim receives a text from a banking institution stating that there’s an issue with their bank account. Once you click on the link it takes you to an internet page asking you for your bank account, social and or pin numbers. Once that’s provided you money will start to disappear from your bank accounts. Simple ways to notice the scam, misspelled words, you don’t bank with the bank institution, and never reply to text since your bank will never text you to ask you for something specially your account number.