Two people were arrested Thursday and charged with grand larceny in what authorities described as a scam to steal $12,000 from a couple in their 70s in Great Neck, police said.
Lissette Rodriguez, 35, and Rigo Jose Batista Dominguez, 24, both of the Bronx, contacted the victims, whom police did not name, saying the couple needed to pay $12,000 to cover their son’s medical bills in Florida, Nassau County police said in a news release.
Police said the couple, a man, 74, and a woman, 76, contacted police.
“When the defendants … arrived at the victims’ residence to collect the money, they were taken into custody without incident,” police said.
The arrests mark the latest in a surge of these scams, many of them targeting older people on Long Island.
The prevalence of the scams, which vary in their methods, alarmed police commissioners and officials in both Nassau and Suffolk counties, prompting them to hold news conferences in March to warn residents about the fraud.
In one scam, two people convinced a Plainview man that he had won $5.7 million from the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, police said, but the man, 79, ended up losing more than $147,000. The fraudsters were arrested after the man’s son found out about the ruse and reported it to police, police said.
In another scam, Suffolk officials said fraudsters found a way to display a caller ID that looks like a legitimate source such as the U.S. Social Security Administration or PSEG Long Island.
In the Great Neck incident, Rodriguez and Dominguez were each charged with one count of third-degree grand larceny, police said. Both were arraigned Friday in First District Court in Hempstead, according to the Nassau district attorney's office. Rodriguez was granted bail of $10,000 bond or $5,000 cash; Batista Dominguez was given the same bail and had to surrender his passport.
Police ask anyone who believe they may have been a victim of a similar scam to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS or call 911.