FRIGHTENING: Young Lakewood woman loses nearly all her money to scam (PHOTOS & AUDIO)

A young Lakewood woman has lost nearly every penny she had after falling prey to a scam today.

At approximately 1:30 PM this afternoon, a Lakewood businessman walked into a convenience store at the intersection of Route 9 and Chestnut Street, when he saw this young woman crying bitterly. When he asked her what’s wrong, she stated she had just lost almost all her money.

The approximately 20-year-old woman, an American-Israeli, moved to Lakewood approximately four months ago. Today, she received a call on her cell phone from a man who threatened her with arrest by the U.S. Marshal’s Office is she doesn’t withdraw all her money from her account and send it to them – or it could become frozen and she would lose it. The scared woman complied to their orders.

The woman was then told a taxi was ordered to her home, and she would be taken to her bank to withdraw her money.

Unable to hang up and call her husband, the terrified woman got into the taxi and headed to her bank. She withdrew every penny she had – over $9,000.

The scammer then directed her to the convenience store at the intersection of Chestnut Street and River Avenue, where he instructed her to insert the cash into a machine which sends the converted cash to the caller via Bitcoin-type funds.

After inserting $8,100 into the machine, the woman realized something was not right – but by then it was too late. Her money was gone. That’s when she broke down crying.

“This was the worst time for this to happen,” a relative of the victim said. “She has no job, and now she’s basically penniless.” (Family members managed to put together $1,000, and deposited it to her account.)

Lakewood Police arrived, and the officers attempted to comfort the victim while investigating the incident.

Listen to the emotional clip below of the woman describing to TLS what happened, and warning others not to fall prey to such scams.


[Editor’s Note: TLS has set up an online campaign for those wish to help this woman get back on her feet and recoup some of her losses. Tizku L’mitzvos.]



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  1. THIS EXACT THING HAPPENED TO MY FRIEND!!!! Please spread the word to everyone you know!!!! B”H my friend only lost $200 but he withdrew over $5000 and was ready to give it!! Please @lakewoodscoop put this warning everywhere!!

  2. How many times do people have to hear not to worry and not to fall into scams that you get over the phone? this is happening so often it’s common sense when you get these kind of phone calls it’s common sense that it’s a scam. I feel very bad for the victim but use a little sechel.

  3. I think bank tellers gotta start asking questions when people make such larger withdrawals (especially when it’s 100% of their account balance and I’m assuming she must have appeared nervous as well).

    • That is a bad idea, it’s your money and none of the tellers business what you do with it. I have had to take very large withdrawals of cash out of savings accounts and deposit it into a checking account, so I can send a check out to the IRS, by the tax deadline on a few occasions

  4. She should be helped, maybe a go-fund-me page would cover her loss in full. A little from everyone can make her whole again quickly

  5. My heart goes out to this woman. At the same time ALL are advised to take a deep breath and think clearly prior to acting. These scammers rely on individuals hysteria to take advantage of them.

    Additionally, never open your door unless you verify who you are opening it for. Even the police can not enter your home without a warrant. Be polite and respectful however firmly deny them entry.

  6. People must realize and tell there wives this on basic rule. No one from the government will ever call you regarding money owed!!!!it will never happen!! 2- If anyone ever tells you not to tell anyone that’s the number one sign YOU SHOULD TELL SOMEONE!!! How many people need to lose so much money to scammers before we all realize the basic principals of scams. Please share and let’s make sure this never happens again in our community.

    • I am so sorry this happened to you. Please do not answer your phone if you don’t recognize the number. Also, no one will ever do this over the phone or at your door. I receive these calls all day long. How these evil people never get caught is beyond me. No ligit agency will call or come to your door. You’ll be ok. It’s only money and you’re safe. Maybe your bank can straighten this out. Again, I’m so sorry.

  7. I get calls on my cell every day from different numbers saying the same thing. I don’t pick up the calls. They have no way of tying my cell phone to my ssn, so I know it’s a scam

  8. It’s time for the frum media to develop an organized information blitz to combat these scams. This is happening over & over in our sheltered community. Agudah, Lakewood Vaad, Misasskim, please educate our community about these conniving scam artists & explain how to deal with their calls. Otherwise, this will just keep on happening.

  9. If anyone gets this type of a call, do the world a favor and keep them on the phone as long as possible! Tell them: “I’m going to the bank…”, “I’m counting the cash…”, “there is a line by bit coin machine…” mean while go around doing your things. As long as you are on the phone with them they can’t scam anyone else! Don’t forget to mention before you hang up that you are from Lakewood NJ and we know all about this scam.

  10. These people called me. It comes up on caller ID as unknown number. Beware,whenever there a Bitcoin account IT IS DEFINITELY a scam.
    Unfortunately, these people are getting too many people. They are professional at what they do. Tell them you have a policy that you don’t give money or any personal information over the phone etc..

  11. and never connect your computer so you can get a refund or for the unknown caller can fix a Microsoft problem. All they want is to get all the information from your computer to use for themselves.

  12. There should be an announcement in every school and yeshiva, girls school notifying ppl of theses scams so they can educate themselves and there family’s especially here in Lakewood where a lot of ppl don’t have access to the media

  13. I’m amazed that we have the resources to send men to space & the legal resources to make our presidents life miserable with unprecedented lawsuits…but we cant follow the trail of where the $ went & catch these guys

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