United States

New twist in old scam brings victims face-to-face with crooks

This scam will probably sound familiar to you: A person — usually elderly — gets a phone call announcing a grandchild is in jail or was in an accident or is in some other kind of pickle. The kid needs cash fast. That’s old news. I’ve written about this a lot. But here’s a frightening new twist on this standard swindle that you ought to know about. So pay attention, especially if you are a concerned relative, a bank teller or, especially, a New York City doorman. Under the time-honored scenario, a crook commands his target to go to the nearest electronics outlet or department store and buy gift cards, usually for around $10,000. Then, he has the victim read off the serial numbers on the card over the phone. No muss, no fuss, ...