Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney is urging the public to be on the lookout for scams after an elderly Setocote resident was identified as The federal agents swindled out of $650,000.

The victim, whose name has been kept confidential, was initially contacted in July 2022 by someone claiming to be from her bank.

The caller allegedly told the victim that her bank account had been flagged and instructed her to call “FBI Special Agent Johnson” at the number.

When the victim called the so-called agent, she was told her identity had been stolen and used to rent a car in Texas covered in drugs and blood.

The scammer said that to protect her identity, the victim needed to transfer all of her money to someone else for safekeeping and had to pay for a new social security number, the DA reported.

In the course of the fraud, victims mailed cashier’s checks for over $650,000.

The scammers called the victim every day to ask how she was doing, authorities said. He sent her confirmation of the transaction on fake FBI letterhead and told her that she had a “gag order” so that she would not reveal any information about the money she sent.

The scheme was only discovered when an Indiana Adult Protective Services investigator who was investigating phone scams in Indiana alerted Suffolk County authorities that the Setauket woman may also have been a victim.

“Scammers are getting more sophisticated and they are preying on our vulnerable older population,” Tierney said.

“The public needs to be informed about how they operate so they can take precautions to protect their money if they are targeted.”

After discovering the full extent of the scam from the initially concerned victim, authorities intercepted one of the $25,000 cashier’s checks in transit and seized another $115,000 the victim sent from a South Bend bank account.

Tierney advised community members to “slow down and be skeptical” when calling or emailing for personal information or money.

“Before accepting this story is true and sending money, consult an expert or law enforcement, or just talk to a trusted friend or relative on the phone,” he said.

Anyone who believes they have been a victim of this or any scam should call the Suffolk County Police Service Financial Crimes Unit at 631-852-6821.

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