HOBOKEN, N.J. (PIX11) — Scammers asking for money for a “sick” teacher or coach are preying on the kindness of commuters traveling through the Hoboken Terminal in New Jersey, authorities said Wednesday.
The swindlers ask travelers for their phones so they can make small donations via Zelle or Venmo, but the scammers then change the amount to a larger sum, according to a spokesperson for New Jersey Transit.
Officials said three incidents involving Venmo or Zelle have been reported since the beginning of the year, prompting authorities to post the warnings in the terminal.
“Beware of Zenmo/Zelle scams,” says a neon screen posted in the terminal. “Don’t give your cellphone to anyone.”
“The sign was put in place to warn potential victims of this type of scam, and to act as a deterrent to future scam attempts,” a spokesperson for NJ Transit said.
Earlier this year, the Hoboken Police Department was cracking down on the crime trend. Police said sometimes a group of teenagers ask for money and when the commuters don’t have cash, they’re asked for Venmo or Zelle transfers.
“We’ve seen anywhere from $200 all the way up to $3,000,” Det. Lt. Jonathan Mecka of the Hoboken Police Department told PIX11 News in March.
There have been no arrests and the investigation is ongoing, officials said.