Nassau detectives are seeking someone who scammed a 92-year-old Massapequa resident out of nearly $130,000 by convincing him on three occasions this month that money had been mistakenly deposited into his account and needed to be returned, police said.
In a news release, Seventh Squad detectives said the grand larceny occurred starting on March 14 and ended on March 21 after the victim became suspicious and called authorities. All told, police said, he was robbed of $129,100.
The incident is the latest since Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder on Tuesday declared war on criminals who prey on the elderly through phone scams and sophisticated con games. It comes at a time when police report 138 incidents of scams against the elderly in 2018, a 62 percent increase over the previous year.
As of Tuesday, police had received 44 complaints in 2019, a 47 percent jump compared to the 30 complaints received during the same time period last year.
“The Nassau County Police Department will continue to educate all residents about crimes, especially those against the elderly at our educational forums,” officials said in the news release. ”We remind all residents that they should call 911 immediately if they were contacted from any individual requesting that they send money.”
Police have no suspects in the most recent case but said they urge anyone with information about the incident to contact the Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 800-244-8477.
The series of crimes began on March 14 when the victim encountered a technical problem with his computer, police said, adding that the man dialed a phone number displayed on the screen, spoke to someone and was persuaded to buy a $500 anti-virus software package to correct the problem.
But someone called him back that day after the purchase and told him that since there was a problem with the software that the victim would be refunded his $500. One glitch, though, was that as much as $50,000 had been mistakenly refunded to the victim. So, the man on the phone asked the victim to deposit the balance into an account that the scammer provided.
The victim complied, went to his bank and wired $49,300.
On March 18, the victim received another phone call stating the same error had occurred, and he wired another $49,800 into an account. A similar call came in to the victim on Tuesday, requesting $30,000 be returned. He again complied and wired $30,000, police said.
On Thursday, the victim received yet another call from someone who claimed that he had been the victim of a scam, but that he could pay $30,000 to the caller to have the issue resolved, police said.
The victim declined and then called police to report the incidents.