Peter Cooper Village senior scammed

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police are asking for the public’s assistance in finding men who scammed a Peter Cooper Village senior out of more than $9,000 last month.

The 77-year-old victim told police that the unidentified men called her between 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, January 16 and 12:30 p.m. on Friday, January 17, telling her that her grandson had been involved in a car accident and he required money for bail. After speaking to the victim by phone, one of the suspects met the victim at her apartment near 2 Peter Cooper Road and got $9,200 in cash from her.

The next day, the suspects called the victim back and said that in order to expunge her grandson’s arrest record, she would have to pay an additional $7,000. The victim had become suspicious, so when the suspects arrived to collect the second payment, she handed them miscellaneous papers in an envelope and not the additional requested sum.

Police said that on both occasions, the suspects fled towards Second Avenue when they left the victim’s apartment building. The victim was not injured as a result of the incident.

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Letters to the editor, Feb. 6

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

The overwhelming climate crisis

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the climate change crisis? If so, you are not alone and have reasons to feel stressed. According to scientists, we are facing the sixth global extinction; but whereas the previous five extinctions happened over millions of years, this one is taking place within only 200 years and we are at the beginning of it. One psychological problem of the climate change crisis is the uncertainty of a fixed date of when it will hit you and your family catastrophically. This vagueness can lead in many to inaction and/or procrastination which in turn leads to more stress and feelings of hopelessness.

Are things hopeless? Not yet. If you live in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village you are blessed to have witnessed over recent years management’s deep commitment to promoting “green” actions, for instance the installation of almost 10 000 solar panels for renewable energy, and many other energy saving steps (for this they received the 2018 Platinum LEED Award) . You can personally assist their efforts by faithfully recycling, composting, saving water and electricity in your apartment and by generally avoiding waste.

The city and state of New York are heavily engaged in energy saving projects such as reducing car traffic, and banning plastic bags to name just two. Globally, at the recent Economic Forum in Davos alarm bells regarding climate change were sounding, a new development.

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Letters to the editor, Jan. 30

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Aggressive and persistent scammers

Dear editor,

Tactics used by phone scammers are becoming ever more aggressive. On Friday, January 25 between the hours of 4:30 and 8:30 p.m., I received at least 20 calls telling me about “suspicious activities….” The caller(s) had the audacity to leave numerous messages with the following “toll free” number: 208-262-0000. I was compelled to turn off my voice mail, but the phone kept on ringing. In the meantime, I found out that a neighbor of mine received identical calls, which makes me wonder whether other tenants of PCV/ST have been targeted as well. Verizon was of no assistance. What can be done about this? How can we put a stop to this intrusion on our lives?

Name withheld
Stuyvesant Town

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Peter Cooper Village man targeted by Apple phone scammer

By Sabina Mollot

By now, there is probably not a single New Yorker, or even a single person living in the country with a phone who hasn’t been on the receiving end of some sort of scam pitch. The popular ones being Con Ed, the Department of the Treasury, the IRS and Microsoft.

But some callers seem more plausible than others in their attempts to get money from their marks, in particular those who spout names of familiar companies that are actually used by the victims and find out the names and sometimes other information about the people they’re calling.

For those reasons, Peter Cooper Village Josef Schreick believed it at first when someone claiming to be an Apple employee called his landline, warning him his computer had a virus that was putting all his other Apple devices at risk.

So he called back the number the caller gave him as instructed, and a heavily accented man who introduced himself as Chris Morris answered. Shreick’s phone number is listed publicly, so “Chris” knew Schreick’s address and also knew (or guessed correctly) that he subscribed to Spectrum, making him seem more legit. After informing him his devices were at risk of being infected, the man told Schreick the cost for repairs would be $200, to be paid in Apple iTunes gift cards.

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Hoylman taking on robo-call scammers

State Senator Brad Hoylman (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Sabina Mollot

Just call him Robo-call Cop.

Like any other New Yorker, State Senator Brad Hoylman has come to view his phone with a sense of dread each time it rings thanks to near-daily scam calls.

Popular ones to hit local communities lately include the Apple iCloud shutoff scam and another claiming money is owed to Con Ed.

In Hoylman’s case, the Greenwich Village resident said it’s recently been a steady mix of callers instructing him to call back about his credit card account, announcements that he’s won a free cruise (complete with a louder than necessary cruise ship horn blast) and messages in Chinese. The Chinese language calls come from numbers that appear to be local with 212, 917 and 646 area codes.

But, said Hoylman, “Those are spoofed calls made overseas.”

To combat the scam scourge, the senator has proposed legislation that would require phone companies to offer consumers tools, free of charge, on landlines as well as cell phones, to block or divert robocalls.

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