(Mineola, NY) Nassau County Clerk Maureen O’Connell is cautioning residents of scam calls
“spoofing” the Nassau County Clerk’s office phone number being made particularly to senior citizens
throughout the country. “My office has received an influx of calls from people all around the United
States who are being targeted by the ‘Grandparent Scam’ and believed these calls were originating
from my office because that’s what their Caller-ID was telling them,” O’Connell stated.
The “Grandparent Scam” begins with the scammer claiming to be the victim’s grandchild.
They will provide believable details and claim they are in some type of trouble or distress and ask the
victim to wire money or send a gift card. According to the AARP website, the scammers often do not
target randomly. They obtain information from social media or by hacking email accounts to obtain
contact lists. A report by the FTC states that in recent years nearly one in five people reported losing
money in an imposter scheme like the “Grandparent Scam”, amounting to a loss of $328 million in the
year 2017 alone. Those ages 70 and older have suffered the highest average losses.
County Clerk O’Connell warns that Caller-ID shouldn’t always be trusted when the number
listed is a government agency. “Caller-ID spoofing is one of the most common deceptive tactics that
these scammers use to try and come across as legitimate,” said County Clerk O’Connell. “Our senior
citizens are being targeted relentlessly by sophisticated scam artists who contact them by phone, email,
and U.S. Mail. We are constantly working with local law enforcement to bring these thieves to
justice.” County Clerk O’Connell says that her office will never ask you to remit payment by wire
transfer or gift card and asks that any residents who receive a suspicious phone call believed to be
coming from her office to end the call immediately and contact her Administrative Office at (516)