According to the NYPD, a group of Citibank debit card fraudsters has been preying on elderly victims in all five boroughs by diverting them before snatching their ATM cards and large sums of cash.
According to police, the middle-aged burglars approach the seniors as they withdraw cash and divert their focus by asking them whether they’ve dropped any money.
The thieves may occasionally throw a twenty-dollar bill to distract their victim from the cash machine.
They switch their ATM cards to fake ones while the victims are preoccupied. The crew members observe the victims and retrieve their PINs from prior withdrawals. Then, they steal from the elderly using real cards.
On February 3, a 79-year-old man in Starrett City, Brooklyn, was at the Citibank location at 1388 Pennsylvania Avenue when two persons approached him.
After the deception, the intended victim learned that $5,290 had been taken out of his account, according to the authorities.
The thieves struck again more than a week later, stealing $4,500 from a 93-year-old woman in Forest Hills, Queens, according to the police.
The criminals continued to prey on victims between the ages of 60 and 88 at Citibank ATMs in Jackson Heights, Greenpoint, Ridgewood, Brooklyn Heights, and Starrett City three more times between February 15 and February 24.
They made their most significant single haul of $21,500 during this spree, according to the police.
The reason why the burglars showed up is unknown to the police.
The crew persisted with their con in March, targeting various locations, including Yorkville in Manhattan, Parkchester and Riverdale in the Bronx, and East Flatbush in Brooklyn.
According to police, the scammers received a total of roughly $77,000.
The suspects from three events are depicted on ATM screen grabs that were released by the investigators, although it is difficult to tell who the individuals are because they are all wearing baseball caps and surgical masks.
Anybody with information on this event is urged to contact the NYPD Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, according to the police.