NYPD Announces Citywide Scam Awareness Campaign | #datingscams | #lovescams

October 6, 2022

Public awareness initiative features a new, 24-hour information hotline: 646-610-SCAM

Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell today announced the launch of a citywide initiative to prevent New Yorkers from falling prey to a range of emerging scams and cyber-assisted crimes that use deception to defraud unsuspecting victims.

The New York City Police Department’s scam awareness campaign is designed to raise awareness about the range of schemes criminals are using to target and exploit people, steal their money or other property, and cause incalculable harm to individuals, families, and communities.

A prime feature of the new NYPD initiative is the establishment of a 24-hour information hotline to help New Yorkers inquire about, and better understand, these criminal scams. Police personnel assigned to answer the hotline – 646-610-SCAM – will guide callers in responding to scams, educate them about additional resources, and refer them to services, including 911, for crimes requiring a police response. By gathering and sharing intelligence about these evolving crimes, law enforcement can better analyze and neutralize them.

“The NYPD is fighting this challenging and complex landscape of criminality head on,” said Police Commissioner Sewell. “These insidious crimes occur citywide, and they target some of our most vulnerable communities – including our immigrant, elder, and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. But the NYPD is ever vigilant, and we ask the public to join us in stopping these scams and holding those behind them fully accountable.”

Like traditional crime, some scams may be perpetrated in person. But criminals have increasingly built digital components into their scams – making initial contact through email, phone, text message, or through social media. In some of the scams’ most common forms, the thieves attempt to create urgency regarding a loved one and ask for money to be wired, transferred, or delivered via gift cards. Others try to win a victim’s confidence or lower their guard to obtain personal information by telling them, for instance, that they have won and need to claim a large cash prize.

As part of its preventative efforts, the NYPD is warning people to be alert to suspicious contacts from anyone claiming to be the following: part of a government agency, authority, or utility; a debt collector; a bank or retail company representative; or a contact from a dating app or website.

“Be aware that no legitimate business or government agency will ever require you to purchase or send gift cards to pay a bill or resolve a debt,” said Commissioner Sewell. “If you have any concerns that you or someone you know may be the victim of a scam, call our information hotline. To report a crime, call 911 or your local precinct. There is always help available.”

The NYPD is working with all of its government partners, community groups, and retailers across New York City to issue and disseminate flyers with information about this awareness and prevention campaign, and to provide further details about the scams themselves. Additionally, NYPD personnel will be visiting gift card retailers and vulnerable community members citywide to educate them about gift card safety. Among the safety tips for New Yorkers: do not respond to unknown calls or texts; use official websites to submit personal information; do not let others use your mobile phone; be aware of your surroundings; consult friends and relatives about suspected scams; and use gift cards for shopping only – never to make any other type of payment.

For additional information, see the link below to the Police Commissioner’s recorded message:


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