BRONXVILLE, N.Y. - Officials in Bronxville are warning local homeowners to be on high alert for scams as the holiday season approaches.
Bronxville Mayor Mary Marvin said that Police Chief Christopher Satriale has been dealing with phone scams, door scams and porch package thefts in just the last few weeks as fraudsters look to take advantage of “this incredibly joyous time of giving,” which “also becomes a time of taking as scammers seem to want to capitalize on the goodwill and gift giving of the season.”
Marvin said that there has recently been an uptick in phone scams, where callers will identify themselves as IRS agents warning that there are active warrants and money must be wired to clear up the issue.
Con Edison has also warned that callers have been posing as agents, claiming that the homeowner has a delayed or delinquent payment. Marvin said that the caller will claim that in order to keep from having utilities cut off, they must buy a pre-paid Green Dot debit card and provide them with that information.
“In a particularly frightening and insidious phone scam, a caller will state that a relative, usually a grandchild, has been arrested and needs money to keep his record clean,” Marvin noted. The resident is then directed to purchase a debit card to post bond, pay a fine and relay the card ID number to the scammer.
According to Marvin, a second door scam, “is similar to one perpetrated last year where a ‘Con Ed’ employee, complete with authentic looking ID, comes to your door and offers discounts or vouchers toward your utility bill. If you agree to the new ‘savings’ plan, the scammer would pay the account balance with a fraudulent check and tell the customer the account was paid.
“The customer would then check the account’s status online or by phone, see a payment posted, and pay the scammer a percentage of the payment. When the dust settles, their check bounces; you’ve given cash to the imposter and your entire Con Ed balance is still due.”
Lastly, Marvin warned of “porch pirates” who steal packages from the fronts of homes during the holiday season. A complete list of tips to avoid being victimized can be found here.
Marvin said that anyone who thinks they may have been scammed, or a scammer attempted to take advantage of them, should contact the Bronxville Police Department by calling (914) 337-0500.
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