OAKLAND, N.J.: A borough police sergeant saved an elderly victim from losing $6,900 to a scam artist after he stopped her for talking on her cellphone while driving.
Sgt. Paul O’Keefe pulled the Pompton Lakes woman’s 2000 Saturn over on East Oak Street, and she “mentioned something about having to make copies of her deposit slips at the post office and send them to someone’s email address,” Lt. Christian Eldridge said.
“She was upset and confused about what she needed to do and began to cry,” Eldridge said.
Earlier that day, he said, the scammer “called her at home and said she needed to deposit $6,900 into an account at the Bank of America in her town — or there would be an officer at her door to lock her up for six months due to a problem on her 2011 federal tax return.”
The woman had already done that and was on the phone with the con man when O’Keefe stopped her, Eldridge said.
The sergeant spoke with the man, who eventually hung up when O’Keefe refused to let him speak with the victim again.
He then took the woman to her bank and spoke to the manager, who determined that the transaction hadn’t yet gone through — and ordered a teller to reverse it.
“She was very thankful,” Eldridge said. “She would have been out a lot of money.”
Turns out she won’t lose any cash from that day — instead of a summons for the cellphone, O’Keefe gave her a warning.
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