The Hoboken Police Department has issued a warning to residents about charity scams involving Zelle or Venmo, noting that they are already investigating several incidents that fit this modus operandi.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
According to Police Det. Lt. Jonathan Mecka, men seeking donations approach victims stating they are only accepting contributions through Zelle or Venmo. If the victim agrees to donate, the scammer then requests their phone so he can enter his account information.
He then completes a fraudulent transaction and within seconds transfers a large sum of money to their preferred destination.
“This has been a recurring modus operandi within our jurisdiction, we are currently investigating 4 other incidents. The incidents are occurring in close proximity to the New Jersey Transit Path Area, specifically at the entrance of Pier A Park and Washington Street,” Mecka said in a statement.
“Most of these incidents include actors waiting for victims to exit the terminal during rush hour times and approach them for donations and subsequently fraudulently obtain funds from the victims.”
The Hoboken Police Department is working with New Jersey Transit Police Department in an effort to identify and apprehend the suspects.
Anyone who is approached in this manner is urged to contact the Hoboken Police Department at 201-420-2100 and/or the New Jersey Transit Police Department at 973-378-6565.
Furthermore, identity theft can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission, the Social Security Administration fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271, or to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.