NEW YORK (PIX11) — The NYPD is launching a new campaign to crack down on new scams stealing millions from unsuspecting New Yorkers.

You’ve heard of Crimestoppers at 1-800-577-tips.  Now there’s a new NYPD hotline just to report scams.  It’s 646-610-SCAM

The NYPD wants to make sure people know about how people steal information on Venmo and about the gift card theft scam. Mark Stewart is the the deputy commissioner of Community Affairs at the NYPD. He gave PIX11 News a first look at a new NYPD campaign cracking down on what he says is a booming criminal enterprise.  

Stewart says his office is getting more and more calls about scams, especially among older New Yorkers.  Criminals are targeting people online, on their phone, and sometimes even at their door.

The NYPD is on the offense.  New Yorkers will see a new PSA promoting the launch of an NYPD hotline that people can call if they think they are a victim of a scam. Flyers about the hotline will also be posted everywhere. 

The NYPD has dozens of detectives working toward cracking down on a range of schemes right now.  Stewart says criminals usually make first contact through email, phone, text message, and social media. Often times, criminals create a false sense of urgency regarding a loved one, then they ask for money to be wired, transferred, or delivered via gift cards.  

To best protect yourself, do not respond to unknown calls or texts, do not let others use your phone, and use gift cards for shopping only, never use them to make any other type of payment. For additional information, see the police commissioner’s recorded message.