UNION, NJ – Union police are warning residents about a scam involving a woman asking passersby for cash.
Officers from Union's Street Crimes Unit found a woman on Monday walking in and out of traffic on Vauxhall Road at Hilton Avenue, near the Rt. 78 west exit, with a handwritten sign that read, “I have 1 baby - please in the name of God help me to buy baby stuff and diapers”.
The woman claims to be from Romania; now living in Queens. She was asking for cash for her baby, but police say, she had a $500 purse, some jewelry and a new iPhone X. She did not appear to be in critical need of cash.
An investigation by police led the woman to admit that she and several other women got dropped off to panhandle throughout New Jersey. She was issued a ticket for ‘impeding the flow of traffic’ and received a township summons for ‘soliciting without a permit’. Police say the woman does not appear to be a victim of human trafficing, but that she appears "to be a transient criminal".
“It is nice to be charitable, but it's not a good idea to donate to someone on the side of the road with a sign,” read the Union Police social media post. “If you see someone who may need help, you can call our headquarters and our officers will respond and assess.”