Phone scam targets BX seniors

James Donohue gave over $3,000 to the scammer he believed to be his grandson. (2/22/14)

THE BRONX - Police are spreading word about a scam that is targeting senior citizens in the Bronx.

Scam artists have called several seniors in Throggs Neck, telling them to transfer money via MoneyGram or a prepaid debit card. They tell their victim that non-compliance would result in them being arrested or deported.

Some have even pretended to be a family member of the victim's, who is hurt or in some sort of danger.

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Resident James Donohue says he gave more than $3,000 to the scammer he believed to be his grandson in the span of three days. He found out that he can only be compensated for $100 and is now trying to spread the word so other residents can avoid the scam.

Assemblyman Michael Benedetto says he will work with Albany to draft legislation that would make more funds available to these types of victims.

Authorities say scammers are also pretending to be Con Edison and the IRS. They recommend that if a resident receives a suspicious call, they should hang up and call the number to be sure it is legitimate.

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