NPD: Resident nearly fell for PCH scam

Big_Check_CloseupA Nutley resident fell victim to a scammer who claimed he had won $3 million from Publisher’s Clearing House, but only if the victim first sent in $1,895 as a pre-tax payment, the Nutley Police Department reported.

The victim told police he received calls from a man called John Lopez, of Gold Rush Services [a fake business name] who told the victim the company was a winnings-distribution handler for Publisher’s Clearing House.

When the scammer [Lopez] told the victim to use Western Union to send the pre-tax payment, the victim fell for it — and sent $1,895 in cash. Fortunately, police said, Western Union detected the scam and the victim was able to recoup his money.

Since then, police said the victim continues to receive phone calls from the suspect. Police advised the victim not to take the phone calls.

Publisher’s Clearing House was advised of the fraudulent use of its name.

Police said they tried to call the number used by the scammer, to no avail.

Meanwhile, the NPD released the following reports of incidents that occurred between March 19 and March 26:

March 19

A motor vehicle stop on River Road resulted in the arrest of the car’s passenger, Judith Soto, 31, of Teaneck, on an outstanding Union Township warrant. Soto was transported to NPD headquarters without incident, posted the appropriate bail and released after being advised to contact Union Township for a new court date.  The driver was issued a motor vehicle summons for view obstruction.

March 20

Officers were dispatched to Kingsland Ave. on a call that three juveniles entered a secured construction site. The three kids, from Clifton, were found on the second floor of the property and transported to NPD HQ and were released into their parents’ custody.

March 22

Police and detectives were dispatched to a burglary in progress on Union Ave. Upon arrival, two men were located on the property and they told police they were interested in purchasing the house through a Sherriff’s sale — and were on the property to look at the condition of the house. Police said they later learned one of the men entered the home through a back door without permission.  The man told police he then saw a dog in the home and realized that it may still be occupied. Subsequently, officers placed Devin Carroll, 35, of Orange, under arrest and transported him to HQ without incident and charged him with criminal trespass — a fourth-degree crime. Carroll was released on his own recognizance, pending court.

March 26

Officers responded to Wesley Place to take a report of yet another vehicle that had been entered in the evening hours. Detectives continue to investigate who is responsible for this and other area burglaries to unlocked motor vehicles.

Meanwhile, while investigating that incident, Newark police contacted Nutley advising them they recovered a vehicle that was presumed to be stolen from Wesley Place. When officers contacted the registered owner, she told them she was unaware the vehicle had been stolen. Police are working to determine whether the two incidents are related — as well as several other thefts from vehicles that occurred just over the town line in Belleville.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.