Suspects wanted for stealing debit cards, pin numbers from seniors at banks across NYC

Josh Einiger Image
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Seniors targeted in city-wide bank robbery scheme
Police are searching for several people wanted for stealing debit cards and pin numbers at at Citibank branches across New York City. Josh Einiger has more on the robberies.

RIVERDALE, Bronx (WABC) -- Police are searching for a crew of con artists crisscrossing New York City, targeting unsuspecting seniors at cash machines.

They are wanted for stealing debit cards and pin numbers and have struck at least 15 times, getting away with nearly $77,000.

One victim, who goes by 'Joe,' asked Eyewitness News not to reveal his real name or show his face but wanted viewers to hear about what happened to him last month as he withdrew cash at his local Citibank, in Riverdale.

"I felt a tap on my left shoulder, and I turned around to see who it was, and it was a lady," Joe said. "She pointed to the floor and said, 'sir you dropped some money,' so I bent down to pick it up and that was my mistake. There was a man standing next to her, reached around in that split second and palmed my card."

At Joe's bank branch on Riverdale Avenue the police have already put up a flyer warning people to take some pretty common-sense precautions whenever they use an ATM.

Among them, always look in the mirror that's built into the ATM itself, so you can know for sure who's behind you at all times. And when you're using your machine always cover your pin number.

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Police believe the scammers are peering over their victims' shoulders to watch them type in their pin. Once they get the card, they swap it for a dummy card. Then, all they have to do is withdraw the victim's money.

The NYPD says this exact scenario has played out at least 15 times in little more than a month.

Seniors as young as 60 and as old as 93, have been targeted at Citibank branches across the city, including seven in Brooklyn, five in Queens, one in Manhattan and two in the Bronx.

Police released pictures of suspects, from some of the incidents.

"I give most people the benefit of the doubt even at 73," Joe said. "And that's the aspect that creeps you out. This person was completely playing on any goodwill that you might have had."

So far, in the 15 cases, police say the group has stolen tens of thousands of dollars of hard-earned savings from fixed income retirees, who have worked for their money but are easy marks for a heartless scam.


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