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Police warn commuters of Venmo and Zelle phone scams at Hoboken Terminal

While the scammer distracts you, they may change the amount on your Venmo or Zelle. In other cases, they may run off with the phone.

Kimberly Bukowiec and Lanette Espy

Aug 9, 2023, 10:31 AM

Updated 310 days ago

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Police want commuters and residents to be aware of scams at Hoboken terminal after recent complaints.
Police say there are two rising crime trends in the area. One involves scammers who ask for charitable donations to access a victim’s bank account information. The second involves individuals asking victims to deposit a fake check to steal cash.
One phone scam can drain your bank account in seconds. A scammer may come up to you asking for donations and then next may ask to borrow your phone.
At the Hoboken train terminal, there are signs making riders aware of this problem and urging those who take the train not to share their cellphones. While the scammer distracts you, they may change the amount on your Venmo or Zelle. In other cases, they may run off with the phone.
Hoboken police have sent the alert about the rise in scams. They say these scams are generally carried out by “unknown teenage males,” but reports on social media claim that sometimes younger children are also enlisted to perform the scams.
Police say to not offer your cellphone to anyone, no matter how desperate they sound. Anyone who has run into this issue should contact Hoboken police at 201-420-2100.
If you do fall victim to a scam, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission. If someone has/had your Social Security number, you can report it to the Social Security Administration or file with the internet crime complaint center.

Are you a victim of a phone scam? Here’s what to do

The Federal Trade Commission has a free, one-stop resource at www.identitytheft.gov to report and get assistance with recovering from identity theft. You can also report fraud to the FTC.
If you believe someone is using your Social Security number or has committed fraud using your Social Security number, contact the Social Security Administration fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271 or ssa.gov/fraud.
If you are a victim of online crime, you can file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at IC3.gov.


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