A Queensbury man and Brooklyn woman were arrested Wednesday by Sixth Squad Detectives in connection to an elder scam that allegedly conned a 70-year-old woman out of $20,000 in Great Neck Plaza.
Police charged Lizhuo Luo, 39, and Yandan He, 36, a day after the crime took place around 1 p.m.
According to investigators, the pair targeted a 70-year-old woman who received a distressing message on her computer alerting her to a supposed compromise of her bank accounts and that additional funds were needed to unlock her account. In a state of panic, the victim dialed the phone number displayed on her screen, only to be assured by an unknown male caller that she would receive assistance from the bank fraud department.
Shortly after, she received a call from the same man instructing her to withdraw $20,000 and place it in an unmarked envelope for a bank employee who would visit her residence. The victim, complying with the instructions, handed over the cash-filled envelope to an unidentified woman posing as a representative of the bank’s fraud department.
On July 12 at around 10 a.m., the man contacted the victim again, demanding additional funds to unlock her supposedly frozen bank accounts. Suspecting something wasn’t right, the victim visited her bank, where she was informed that her accounts had no holds and that she had fallen prey to an elder scam. Realizing she was the victim of a crime, the woman notified the police.
Following an investigation, Sixth Squad Detectives located and arrested Luo and He on July 12.
Luo is facing charges of attempted grand larceny and resisting arrest, while He is charged with grand larceny and attempted grand larceny. Luo was released on a desk appearance tickets and is required to appear at the First District Court July 28. He was arraigned on July 13 in the same court.