Wayne, NJ couple cheated out of nearly $20K in ‘grandparent scam’
WAYNE — Police are again warning residents about the crime-by-phone known as the "grandparent scam," saying an elderly couple from the township was recently victimized by two New York men.
In a release Wednesday, the Wayne Police Department said the residents' adult child called the authorities on Nov. 21, saying her parents were at a local bank with the intent to withdraw money after already providing a "significant amount of cash" in two previous pickups that day.
While the exact amount given to or ultimately sought by the scammers was not disclosed, Wayne Police Detective Capt. Dan Daly told New Jersey 101.5 in an email that it was close to $20,000.
The setup, according to police, involved a call that indicated the couple's grandchild was in jail and in need of bail money after having been involved in a car accident in New York City in which a pregnant woman lost her baby.
Officers then responded to the elderly couple's home to set up surveillance and several hours later, they observed a vehicle with New York license plates pulling up to retrieve a money envelope the residents had placed in their mailbox.
Apprehended at the scene were Lenny Gomez, 26, of the Bronx and Ernis Nusevic, 18, of Yonkers, who were both charged with third-degree conspiracy and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception.
Both were released on summonses pending future court appearances in Passaic County.
Wayne police advised residents to verify any notification that a family member has been arrested with that person themselves, or with another family member, before giving the caller any money, or even information.
Lastly, they said, report any fraudulent attempts to local police.