Urban Media

It’s Scamming Season – Read How They’re Doing It + How To Avoid Being A Victim


Reported on Lisa Evers live Facebook, commanding officer in the NYPD’s crime prevention  division Thomas Conforti held a meeting with the media and wanted to make the public aware of various scams that are on the rise. Conforti announced that in 2016, 2,500 New Yorkers have been the victim of scams with a total loss of $1.7 million.

The average amount taken from someone who has been scammed is $1,700. In an effort to prevent this from happening, Conforti went into detail about how people fall victims to these professional con artist.

The initial process for some of the scams begins with a phone call. The person on the other end convinces their target that the phone call is important because they bombard them with their own personal information. Here is how the scammers do it:

1. Impersonate the IRS and demands immediate payment.

2. Impersonate a police officer.

  • Solicit donations for officers who were killed during the line of duty.
  • Tell the family that a relative has been arrested and needs bail money.

3. Impersonate someone from the immigration office and demands a payment and threatens to deport them.

4. Impersonate someone from a hospital, says that a family member has been in an accident and demands immediate payment in order to treat them.

5. Impersonate someone from the utility company, says that a payment is past due and demands it immediately.

6. Impersonate someone from the lottery or a trip winner and demands funds or an account number in order to claim their prize

7. Craigslist scam artist who plan to rob you while you meet at a location.

8. People steal checks out of mailboxes and erase the ink off of the check and write it out to themselves.

Conforti believes that the best way to prevent these scams from happening is to spread the word and make it publicly aware. Here are some tips you should know so that you can be well prepared if you receive a phony call:

1. The IRS will never call for a payment over the phone.

2. Utility companies don’t take payments over the phone.

3. Hospitals don’t receive payments over the phone.

4. Police officers don’t receive payments for donations or bail money over the phone.

During the live post, Conforti explained how the con artist end up getting away with their scams. Once they get their target on the phone and convince them to pay, they tell the person on the other end to go to a local convenience store, usually late at night, and purchase a prepaid card. They instruct them on which one to get and how much to put on it. Once the fooled person on the phone gets the card, they give the scammer the pin number in which they can then obtain the funds.

To prevent people from falling for these frauds, Conforti announced what the crime prevention team is doing to tackle the issue. Digital billboards have been placed on the Staten Island Ferry, advertisements on Taxi TV, and billboards all over the boroughs have put up to make the public aware and cautions of these scams.

The NYPD also partnered with 7-11, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Duane Reed to notify people purchasing prepaid gift cards over a certain amount that these scams are going around.

Furthermore to help victims of stolen checks, the NYPD is giving out pens with a strong ink that can’t be erased. They hope that local government leaders will help with being able to provide these pens for everyone in NYC.


For the people who shop on craigslist, when arranging to meet with a third party for the transaction, meet at a police station. The NYPD encourages the public to use precincts as a meeting place as an “added blanket.”

Conforti doesn’t want to discourage the public from their normal routines, he just wants to assure that these clever scams are avoided and you are protected. Spread the word.



1 comment

  1. This article is indeed very helpful! Thank you for raising awareness on how to avoid becoming a victim of these horrible fraudsters. The best thing to do is to learn to identify the warning signs and ignore these phone calls. Take note of the phone number and search for it on https://callercenter.com to verify if it has been reported for scam. If not, report it on the website immediately. This could help other people too. And while you’re at it, report the phone number and the incident to the authorities.

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