BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP, NJ – The Bordentown Township Police Department (BTPD) is warning residents of phone, text and internet scammers who are specifically targeting the elderly population and taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The BTPD highlighted two common scams, the “Bail Bond scam” and the “IRS scam”, but emphasized that these are only a couple of the many scams currently being committed against seniors.
The Bail Bond scam involves a criminal calling a victim on the phone and saying that the victim’s grandchild was arrested. The scammer may or may not provide the grandchild’s name, but in some cases will place a person on the phone pretending to be the grandchild as proof he or she was arrested. The criminal then asks the victim to provide money in order for the grandchild to be released from jail, and asks for the victim’s address so they can pick up the money. The scammer sometimes also gives the victims instructions on what to say to a bank teller if he or she is questioned about why they are withdrawing the cash, and also tells the victim to act upset and angry or tell the bank employee that it is none of their business.
The IRS scam involves the criminal calling a victim to tell them that they owe the government money, and, if the sum is not paid, the victim will be arrested. The scammer then tells the victim to pay the debt via a MoneyGram or in gift cards. In reality, the IRS will never contact someone about a tax debt over the telephone, and will also never ask for the funds in MoneyGrams or gift cards.
“These are just two of the MANY scams currently being conducted via telephone, internet and e-mail to honest people such as yourself. You have worked very hard for your money, so please do not give it up so easily to these scammers who will try to upset you into impulsively handing it over to them,” said the BTPD.
The BTPD advises anyone who has received a suspicious phone call, text or e-mail to contact a close friend, relative or the police. “Someone else who is not directly involved may have a better perspective on the situation and be more likely to recognize a potential scam attempt,” they said.
In order to help potential victims from getting scammed, the BTPD is encouraging residents to call them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with any questions. The Department can be reached at (609) 298-4300.