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Scammers Bilk Elderly Women Out of Thousands in Queens, Police Say

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | April 18, 2014 3:06pm
 Thieves scammed elderly victims out of thousands of dollars, police said.
Thieves scammed elderly victims out of thousands of dollars, police said.
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QUEENS — Thieves have been targeting elderly women — including one who was 86 years old — in Queens to scam them out of tens of thousands of dollars by promising them winning lottery tickets and large cash sums, police said.

At least two such cases recently took place within the 102nd Precinct, which covers Kew Gardens, Woodhaven and Richmond Hill, police officials said.

And police sources said that several similar incidents targeting elderly women recently took place in Forest Hills as well. Details were not immediately available about the additional incidents or if they were related to the ones in the 102nd Precinct.

In the latest incident, which occurred in Kew Gardens on April 9, a couple approached an 86-year-old woman on Lefferts Boulevard, near Cuthbert Road, according to Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner, the precinct's commanding officer.

The couple told the women that they found $150,000 and they were willing to give her $50,000, but they would first need a $10,000 finder’s fee.

In order to convince her that their offer was legitimate, they took the woman to an office in Forest Hills and presented her with a batch of fake documents to sign before she handed over the money, Sautner told those present at a community council meeting earlier this week.

Three weeks earlier, an 82-year-old woman was approached on Jamaica Avenue near Woodhaven Boulevard, in Woodhaven.

Two people, who claimed to be poor, asked her whether she could help them, Sautner said. When she said that she was on a fixed income, they told her that they had several winning lottery tickets, which they were not able to cash because of their undocumented immigration status, police said.

Sautner said the couple told her they were willing to give her the tickets, if she gave them $5,000. She agreed and exchanged the money for an envelope, which she later found out, was stuffed with shredded newspapers.

Sautner said that the two incidents are likely unconnected.