East Meadow man turns the tables on alleged con-man

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Police say a 78-year-old East Meadow man was targeted in a scam, but instead quickly turned the tables on the alleged con-man.

Police say Carlos Miguel Torres Ferreira called the man Tuesday and told him that his grandson got busted for DWI and he needed $9,700 for bail. Police say the victim, who happens to be a retired law enforcement officer, quickly knew it was a scam because he doesn't have a grandson.

The victim immediately called police, and detectives set up a sting operation at the Green Turtle restaurant in East Meadow.

"One of our detectives dressed as an elderly male with a walker and approached the subject. The subject reached out to to receive the envelope from our undercover detective," says Patrick Ryder, the Nassau County police commissioner. "As the envelope passed, they arrested and took the individual down."

Ferreira, 38, of the Bronx, is charged with attempted grand larceny and resisting arrest.

This case is the latest in a string of senior scam incidents in Nassau. That's why the district attorney's office held a forum at Hofstra University to train bank employees to look for signs of financial exploitation of the elderly. The goal is to get bank workers to encourage seniors to think about the scammer's phone call because the elderly are often put in a frenzy when someone calls them and tells them a loved one is in trouble.

"In that panic, seniors often hand over their life savings, tens of thousands of dollars," says Nassau DA Madeline Singas. "So it's important for people to be trained and to ask some questions and say wait a minute, are you giving this money in response to some emergency situation? Has someone asked you for this and sometimes just that stopping and thinking through it will prevent the kind of abuses and crimes that we see."

Officials also say scammers often find their victims by scouring social media like Facebook and then doing a Google search for names and numbers.


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