The Yonkers Police Department has seen an increase in the number of senior citizens who are being targeted into sending money to Canada or other locations outside of the country via Western Union under the pretext of helping a family member who may be in trouble.
Recently, a 92 year old Yonkers resident received a phone call from a female claiming to be a police officer from Canada. The caller stated that a family member was arrested in Canada and that $2,715.00 needed to be wired to Spain for bail. The victim responded to a Western Union location and wired the money. A short time later the victim received a second call requesting additional monies for the family member’s legal fees and that the victim should use a different Western Union location. The victim alerted an associate and she was advised to not send the money.
The Yonkers Police Department Detective Division Financial Crimes Unit is investigating this incident and others with a similar pattern of targeting elderly residents with fraudulent schemes. Other police departments throughout Westchester County are also experiencing similar complaints.
All residents, particularly elderly residents, are advised to use caution when funds are requested over the phone. Contact other family members and alert them to any and all requests and do not give checking account numbers or banking identifiers over the phone without first confirming that the request is legitimate. Elderly residents or their family members can contact Detective Division at 914-377-7724 or the City of Yonkers Office of the Aging at 914-377-6822 if they have any questions or to check if a request for funds is legitimate.