OCEANSIDE, Long Island (WABC) -- Nassau County police arrested a man who allegedly scammed an elderly woman out of $45,000 earlier this month, and officials said he may be responsible for at least five other similar scams.
Police announced the arrest of 23-year-old Frederick Espinal, of the Bronx, on Thursday. He faces four counts of grand larceny in the third degree.
According to detectives, Espinal is accused of telling an 81-year-old Oceanside woman that her son was arrested after a car accident and needed $7,500 for bail money.
The victim arranged for the cash transaction to occur at her house earlier this month. After payment was made, the suspect contacted the victim again and stated that an additional $7,500 was needed because bail was raised. The victim again agreed to give the suspect the money at her home.
The suspect contacted the 81-year-old victim a third time and explained that an additional $30,000 was needed to cover medical costs and if paid in cash, her son's criminal record would be expunged. The victim again gave the suspect the cash at her residence.
All of the interactions were caught on the victim's Ring doorbell camera, producing a clear picture of the suspect's face.
Police said they heard similar stories from other victims and Espinal may have scammed $30,000 from a homeowner in Roslyn, $5,900 from a homeowner in Great Neck, $8,400 from another resident in Oceanside and attempted to steal $18,000 from a homeowner in Farmingdale.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran described the suspect as a "dirtbag." She encouraged senior citizens to speak up if they believe they may have been victimized by the suspect.
Police are also encouraging people to speak with their grandparents or elderly friends to ascertain if they too may have fallen prey to the suspect. He said people should also remind their elderly family members to never handover cash to someone they don't know.