Suffolk County Police Financial Crimes Unit detectives are investigating a lottery scam that targeted an elderly man who sent money from New Mexico to the Hamptons.
Financial Crimes Unit detectives and Southampton Village Police were notified that a 75-year-old Bernalillo, New Mexico resident shipped $8,500 in cash to a home in the Village of Southampton, believing he was a lottery winner and the money would pay fees for him to collect his prize.
Police waited at the location after the package was delivered at approximately 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 9 and no one responded to the home to retrieve it.
Residents should note that anyone asking to receive money or gift cards in order to release larger sums of money is almost surely targeting them in a scam. Do not send the money, even if a supposed cashier’s check is sent, or a deposit is made to back it up.
According to the FBI, millions of elderly Americans fall victim to one or more types of financial fraud or confidence schemes, such as romance, lottery, and sweepstakes scams, among many others. “Seniors are often targeted because they tend to be trusting and polite,” the agency notes, adding, “They also usually have financial savings, own a home, and have good credit—all of which make them attractive to scammers.”
A 2020 FBI Elder Fraud Report points out that the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received a total of 791,790 complaints that year with reported losses exceeding $4.1 billion.
Detectives are asking anyone who believes they may be a victim of a scam or have information about a scam to call the Financial Crimes Unit at 631-852-6821.