The Hoboken Police Department sent out a press release this morning, Thursday, December 22nd, alerting residents about a scam happening around town. The detective bureau is currently working on the cases, but the scam involves unidentified males asking for donations via electronic payments through Zelle or Venmo. The request is an attempt to gain access to the person’s phone in an effort to gain control of their phone and bank account information. This is not the first time we’ve seen a Zelle scam here in Hudson County. Read on for what Hoboken PD has released about the ongoing Zelle and Venmo donation scam.
According to the press release, “The HPD would like to alert our residents to a trending crime occurring in our area. Please use caution when being approached by any individuals asking for charitable donations. We are currently investigating a number of similar incidents where: Unknown males seeking donations approach victims stating they are only accepting donations through Zelle or Venmo. This request is only an attempt to gain control of the victim’s phone and bank account information. If the victim agrees to donate, the actor, then requests their phone so he can enter his account information. The actor then completes a fraudulent transaction and within seconds transfers a large sum of money to their preferred destination.”
The release continues to caution residents, “This has been a recurring modus operandi within our jurisdiction, we are currently investigating 4 other incidents. The incidents are occurring in close proximity to the New Jersey Transit Path Area, specifically at the entrance of Pier A Park and Washington Street. Most of these incidents include actors waiting for victims to exit the terminal during rush hour times and approach them for donations and subsequently fraudulently obtaining funds from the victims. The Hoboken Police Department is working with New Jersey Transit Police Department in an effort to identify and apprehend the suspects.”
The HPD has provided the following resources, should you get approached:
- Hoboken Police Department — 201-420-2100
- New Jersey Transit Police Department — 973-378-6565
You should always report to your local police department if you become a victim of one of the following types of crimes then file a report on these sites:
For ID Theft: FTC.gov
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a free, one-stop resource at www.IdentityTheft.gov. To report
and get assistance with recovering from identity theft. Also, you may report fraud to the FTC.
For Social Security Theft: SSA.gov
If you believe someone is using your Social Security number, or has committed fraud using your SSN,
contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271.