Ploy to Dupe Kind-Hearted Crown Heightsers Exposed

A number of Crown Heightsers are concerned over calls they have been receiving asking for urgent assistance. In many cases the caller asked for a sum of cash to help prevent him from being evicted. The kicker? The caller addresses people by first name and poses as someone they “know by face from 770.”

One of those receiving such a call said that he received the call on his cell phone after the man had first called his home phone. After telling his wife that he was going to be evicted and that he was friends with her husband, she gave him his cellphone number.

“Right from the start the call sounded fishy,” he told CrownHeights.info, “he was throwing in words and trying to sound like a Lubavitcher, but it was obvious he isn’t.”

The conversation began with a plea for money, “I am being evicted today, the marshals are coming and if I don’t come up with $190 I will be out on the street, you need to help me; we are friends and Daven in 770 together.”

“When I finally ended the conversation, I right away called a relative who told me he received the same style phone call,” he said.

A CrownHeights.info reporter called the number back and a man answered the phone with a “Shalom Alechem” and identifying himself as ‘Nosson.’ After asking who was calling, he asked “Rabbi Raichik?” and “are you returning my message?”.

The conversation did not last long, and ‘Nosson’ said this is a “confidential emergency” and would not elaborate. When he sensed that something was up, he immediately hung up.

We reached out to Crown Heights Shomrim, who have received a number of complaints regarding similar incidents. They said it appears that the caller picked up a Tzach List and is calling people from the neighborhood at random. The calls do not appear to be legitimate, and residents should be wary of any kind of unsolicited calls requesting money.

In response to a question regarding the potential criminality of the calls, a law enforcement source told CrownHeights.info that “the calls alone don’t constitute a crime, but if money was given then there can be probable cause for arrest under fraud statutes.”

18 Comments

  • 3. sounds familiar wrote:

    I had a similar experience but it was a woman, telling me that she had a big check coming to her soon and she needed the money right now, several thousand dollars, to cover her expenses right away. she would repay me when the check came in. I’m not in a position to give that kind of money so I told her that I couldn’t help her and also did not give her any other names to call when she asked if I knew of anyone that she could contact. sounded fishy to me.

    • 4. Scammed wrote:

      I had given money to lady claiming she needed a temporary loan for a week until money would become available, and although I made her sign a ‘shtar’, I am still owed lots of money…this was few months ago and the lesson is there are people that may need money but not interested when it comes to pay up.

  • 5. I got calls from a woman wrote:

    I got similes calls from a woman saying she has a special need child and if she doesn’t come up with $2500 dollars by mid night something terrible will happen to her. Many ppl have been getting similar calls. When I suggested there are organizations that can help he she said I just need cash that’s all. Anyone else get that sort of call?

  • 6. Sting!!! wrote:

    Why don’t the shomrim with the police play along with his request, once money has changed hands, he will be caught!!!!!!

  • 7. ריווקאַ wrote:

    why don’t you just help him the best you can AND not judge him while spreading loshonhara over the internet….

    • 8. WT-???!!!! wrote:

      this isnt lashon hara. this is warning the people in our community so they dont get scammed. whats wrong with u??!!!!

  • 10. wwc wrote:

    yes, #6, lets be liberals, let him steal good jewish money just to be nice to him.
    or
    we can post it and stop good jewish money from being stolen so it can go to well meaning people who really need it.
    I don’t think its loshon hara. Ask a Rav. why would it constitute loshon hara? No name here.

  • 12. "Good Jewish money" wrote:

    Way to perpetuate Jewish stereotypes. You write like money is a nice boy to introduce to your friend’s daughter.

  • 13. RIVKAH wrote:

    Rivkah dear, please please give me your number so that I can pass it on to this “poor” person. surely you will be able to give a few thousand to start with so that no one need to talk Loshon Hora about this poor poor CROOK!!!

  • 14. Wait wrote:

    Many people need money and they are embarrassed to tell their names
    You don’t have to give all your money ,you can give a little and direct them to other people
    Real scammers ask the money for organizations , some organizations ask money even when they don’t neeed, just to have extra ( and you call this tzedaka) for luxury

    • 15. joe wrote:

      All u people are just being watched by God u don’t realize the chutzpah u have that by embarrassing a person is the biggest averah in the torah and for what reason it’s not fare all u people better think before u right if u have something not nice to say say it straight to the person not to publicize thank you

    • 16. Anonymous wrote:

      All u people should know that God runs the world and doesn’t always go the way u expect it to go so therfore sometimes let the person breath it wasn’t his or her intention to not pay back or to pay slowly please stop be nice .Thank u

  • 18. Sensibility wrote:

    Its not loshon hora if the name or description of the person is not posted. BTW, there are scammers ready to walk away with your money so its not loshon hora to warn people.

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