Nutley PD: Man who bilked resident of $30K arrested after trying to score more cash

A New York City man who Nutley police say allegedly bilked an elderly woman out of $30,000 instead wound up behind bars when he — or an accomplice — attempted to increase the ask by $15K, the Nutley Police Department said today.

Police say they recently took a report from a 76-year-old Mapes Avenue resident who said she responded to a false “Microsoft” email advising her to contact “technical support.”

Technical support scams are very common — often international — though this one appears to be domestic, at least in part.

The agent provided the victim with a secure number where TD Bank documentation falsely demonstrated her accounts had been jeopardized.

Chief Thomas Strumolo says the resident’s major mistake was made when she called the number attached to the email, which directed her to a fraudster who walked her through a $30,000 cash withdrawal. The woman visited several banks and handed the money to an unknown person — likely a money mule — who came to her front door to collect Monday, Feb. 27.

With $30K not being enough stolen money, the caller later attempted to obtain an additional $15K Tuesday, Feb. 27, but instead, police arrested 49-year-old Huihua Chen, of Flushing, Queens.

Police Director Al Petracco commended the Nutley PD and says this kind of scam is generally perpetrated by more than one person and usually, the one who communicates with the victim isn’t the person picking up the cash.

Police continue to investigate potential accomplices and urge residents to practice vigilance by never providing personal information or money to strangers.

Anyone who may have observed suspicious activity on Mapes Avenue earlier this week is urged to contact the Nutley PD at (973) 284-4940.

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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.