WAYNE — An elderly couple from the township was recently targeted by two individuals from New York, prompting police to issue another warning about the phone-based fraud known as the “grandparent scam.”
The Wayne Police Department said in a press release on Wednesday that the residents’ adult child had called them on November 21 to report that her parents were at a local bank with the intention of withdrawing money after already providing a “significant amount of cash” in two previous pickups that day.
Wayne Police Detective Capt. Dan Daly told New Jersey 101.5 via email that the amount was close to $20,000, though the precise sum offered or ultimately requested by the scammers was not divulged.
Police say the couple was duped into thinking their granddaughter was in jail after getting into a car accident in New York City in which a pregnant woman died.
Officers were dispatched to the residence of the elderly couple and surveillance was set up; a few hours later, they saw a car with New York plates pull up to grab a money envelope the residents had placed in their mailbox.
Lenny Gomez, 26, of the Bronx, and Ernis Nusevic, 18, of Yonkers, were arrested at the scene and charged with third-degree conspiracy and criminal attempt to commit theft by deceit.
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Both were issued summonses to appear in Passaic County court at a later date.
Wayne police have warned people to double-check any notifications of an arrest with the alleged victim or another family member before sending any money or providing any personal details.
Last but not least, they urged us to notify the authorities if we saw any suspicious activity.