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Long IslandCrime

Cops: 2 men arrested in online cellphone scam

Michael Atta, 28, and Justice Asare, 40, both

Michael Atta, 28, and Justice Asare, 40, both of the Bronx, were accused of using someone else's name and Social Security number to order cellphones, Suffolk County police said Wednesday. Photo Credit: SCPD

Two Bronx men used someone else’s name and Social Security number to order cellphones online, Suffolk police said Wednesday.

The men were arrested Tuesday after they picked up their delivery, sent to a vacant house, police said.

Michael Atta, 28, and Justice Asare, 40, were arraigned Wednesday on felony charges of fourth-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

Police said Sprint contacted authorities after several cellphones were fraudulently purchased online and scheduled to be delivered in Suffolk County.

Detectives from the identity theft unit surveilled the delivery locations, which were vacant homes, and arrested the two men who picked up two cellphones delivered on Coventry Lane in Smithtown.

Bail was set at $15,000 bond or $7,500 cash for both Atta and Asare, online court records show.

Asare pleaded not guilty and his defense lawyers will review any evidence offered in the case, said Bryan Browns, trial attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County. “He stands by that not guilty plea, and we look forward to fighting the case,” Browns said.

Atta’s attorney did not immediately return a call Wednesday evening.

Investigators said they have received reports of scammers getting packages delivered to the homes of unsuspecting residents, then trying to pick up the packages there. If someone comes to the door, police said, the suspects will claim the packages were delivered by mistake there, and sometimes they’ll have fake identification with the same name as someone living the house.

Police urge people to call 911 if a suspicious person comes to the door asking about a recent delivery.

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