NY Pair Arrested After Scamming 84-Year-Old MN Woman
It's not a new scam but thieves will keep on using it as long as it works. The scam is one where they call your phone number and tell you a relative has been arrested for doing something. They then tell you over the phone that your family member is in police custody and you need to bail your relative out by using gift cards. An 84-year-old Goodhue woman was recently victimized by such a scam and was out nearly $8,100. Good news the scammers were recently arrested in Long Island by Nassau County Police.
Nassau County police reported the arrest of two individuals on Monday in Queens, NY. The two, 25-year-old Jiarui Chen and his wife 26-year-old Yue Niu, each has been charged with 3rd degree Attempted Grand Larceny. In a Nassau County Police report, the victim was initially contacted on April 3rd and as a result of that call, the victim was told to purchase multiple gift cards which amounted to at the time "approximately $2,750" in value and then gave them the codes over the phone.
Two days later, the victim was contacted again and was told that for her grandson to be put into a 'work release program' she needed to pay the caller $5,100. This payment was to be mailed to an address in New York. Luckily, an alert UPS store employee here told the victim to contact the police before sending the package.
As a result of the victim contacting the Goodhue Police Department both suspects were arrested on Monday, April 15, after New York-based law enforcement observed Chen arrive at the delivery location and remove the delivered package from the front porch. Online court records indicate that Chen is still being held on $2,000 bond.
Law enforcement wants the public to know that if anyone believes that they have been victimized by Jiarui Chen or Yue Niu to contact Nassau Police at 1-800-244-TIPS. All calls will remain anonymous.