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Home » Seneca County » Romulus » Seneca County woman nearly scammed out of $9,500: Public urged to watch out for complex phone scams targeting parents, elderly

Seneca County woman nearly scammed out of $9,500: Public urged to watch out for complex phone scams targeting parents, elderly

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office is warning area residents about a scam where the suspects claimed to be a local woman’s child.

On Wednesday around 2 p.m. a woman received a phone call while at her workplace in Romulus.

The caller identified herself as the woman’s daughter and spoke in the daughter’s voice, according to deputies. The caller sounded very upset and said that she had been in an accident and broke her nose.

That’s when the caller, posing as the victim’s daughter, said she was arrested and needed bail money.

The woman receiving the call stated that it sounded exactly like her daughter and even mentioned her daughter’s boyfriend’s correct name.

Deputies said the caller asked the victim not to call her boyfriend as she wanted to give him the news face-to-face. A man then got on the phone and identified himself as Officer Daniel Harris. The person on the line then explained that bail was $9,500.

He alleged that the victim’s daughter was charged with texting while driving and reckless endangerment.

The victim stated that she could not pay $9,500; then the bogus officer stated that the public defender could get the bail lowered and asked how much she could afford.

The victim was to call back with the amount she could afford to pay. However, when she called back she was connected to the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office, who confirmed there was no accident, no charges against her daughter, and that the entire situation was a scam.

This call has been confirmed as a scam. The scammer is suspected of pulling an audio sample and personal information from social media to be used in constructing the call.

Several red flags were present during the call:

  • The charges reported were not eligible for bail under New York State’s Bail Reform.
  • The number was from a 646 area code which is a Manhattan NY area code.    
  •  It is highly irregular for a police officer to be negotiating bail.
  • The caller did not want her to call the boyfriend. The boyfriend could have confirmed that the woman’s daughter was okay and not involved in the accident.   

Deputies say scammers count on a parent, grandparent or other family member to be emotionally upset enough not to question the validity of the call. With computer software easily available to copy and mimic any voice these types of scams are expected to continue.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

“We are asking the public to be aware and spread the word about these despicable scams. Never send money or give bank account or credit card info to anyone without 100% confirmation. If there is ever any doubt, contact local law enforcement before you send any money or give any personal information. In this case the woman receiving the call saved herself a lot of money by having it checked out,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.