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Man Nabbed After Scamming Yonkers Grandmother Of $10K, Police Say

Freddy Fermine, 31
Freddy Fermine, 31 Photo Credit: Yonkers Police Department

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- An elderly Westchester grandmother was robbed of $10,000 by telephone scammers who told her that her grandson had been arrested in the Dominican Republic, Yonkers police said.

The 75-year-old woman received the first call from the scammers telling her the grandson was in jail and she needed to go to the Western Union and wire $980 to bail him out, said Sgt. Dean Politopoulos.

The woman did so, but shortly after she received another call and was told the judge was mad the money was late and told her to send another $965, Politopoulos said. 

This time the woman went to a nearby store and sent the additional money, he added.

When she returned home, another call came, this time telling her they needed $8,500 so her grandson would not have to spend the night in jail, he said.

"At this point, the woman told the men it was late and she didn't know what to do," Politopoulos said. "So, they told her they would send someone to her home."

Unfortunately, the woman gave the scammers her address and had the money on hand to give the man when he arrived late at night at her home, Politopoulos added.

The next day, the woman received another call for an additional $5,600. That's when she called her family to tell them what happened and to find out if her grandson was safe, he said.

After talking with family members she realized she had been scammed, Politopoulos said.

The woman decided to call the men back and tell them she couldn't go to the store to wire the money and asked them to come to her home again. Only this time, she and her family had contacted the Yonkers Police Department who had a detective ready to arrest the man when he arrived, Politopoulos said.

Police arrested Freddy Fermine, 31, of Manhattan, he added. 

A Manhattan man was arrested this week after allegedly using a telephone scam on a 75-year-old Yonkers grandmother – bilking her out of $10,000.

"We were lucky to have someone actually in the country we could arrest," Politopoulos said. "These people usually work from out of the country."

He also said that younger family members need to be sure and warn their parents and grandparents about the scams. 

"If they don't know who they are talking to they should hang up the phone," he added. "We need to make sure our elders are protected from this type of crime."

Fermine bailed out of jail and is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday. 

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