Please be aware that scammers are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and have been targeting our elderly population. There are a variety of scams being attempted, some examples are as follows:

The BAIL BOND scam. The criminal will call the victim on the phone and explain their grandchild was arrested. The criminal may or may not provide the grandchild’s name. In some cases, a person was placed on the phone pretending to be the grandchild as proof they were arrested. The criminal will ask that you post (give) a sum of money in order for the grandchild to be released from jail and ask for your home address to pick up the money. Please be aware, the criminal may give you instructions on what to say to a bank teller if he/she questions you on why you are taking out the cash. The criminal may also instruct you to act upset and angry or to tell the bank employee that it is none of their business as to why you are taking out the money.

The IRS scam. The criminal will call the victim and tell them that they owe the government money and if you don’t pay you will be arrested. To avoid being arrested you must pay your debt by way of a MoneyGram or gift cards. Understand, the IRS will NEVER call you and pressure you into settling your tax debt with a MoneyGram or gift card.

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These are just two of the MANY scams currently being conducted via telephone, internet and email to honest people such as yourself. You have worked very hard for your money, so please do not give up your money so easily to these scammers. These scammers are trying to upset you into impulsively handing your money over to them. If anyone calls, texts or emails you that you do not personally know looking for money, call a relative, a close friend, or call the Police. Another person not directly involved may have a better perspective on the situation and be more likely to see through any potential scam attempt.

On 8/10/20 an elderly Roselle Park resident was a victim of the BAIL BOND scam. The victim was contacted by phone stating that a family member was in a car accident and was being held in jail, and stated they will be released for a sum of money. Unfortunately, the victim was scammed out of the money. The incident is being investigated by the Roselle Park Detective Bureau.

Chief Daniel J. McCaffery urges residents who think they may have been a victim or encounter anyone on the phone soliciting information, to please call the Roselle Park Police Department at 908-245-2300.