Two New Canaan police officers recently helped an elderly resident who been scammed out of $145,000 recover the money, officials said.
Police Chief Leon Krolikowski during last week’s Police Commission meeting spotlighted a letter of appreciation regarding the work that Officers Joseph Schinella and Owen Ochs did on what the chief called a “pretty exceptional” case.
“It’s a constant battle,” Krolikowski told members of the Police Commission during their Sept. 21 meeting, referring to scams that often target older residents.
Sgt. Thomas Callinan wrote in a letter commending the officers that was presented at the meeting to Police Commission Chair Paul Foley and Jim McLaughlin:
“I was recently informed that the victim in this case (82 year old resident) who was scammed out of $145,000 had the full amount returned to him! This was a coordinated effort on both of your parts, and I just wanted to acknowledge you guys for the great work. This is why we do what we do!”
In August, police responded to 13 identity theft-related calls, up from three in the year-ago month, according to statistics presented by Krolikowski at the meeting, held at department headquarters and via videoconference. Through the first eight months of the year, police have responded to 29 ID theft-related calls.
McLaughlin said, “I would imagine in these cases most people never get their money back.”
Krolikowski said it helps if police are informed immediately about the scam, though many are too embarrassed to report such incidents or to report them quickly.
McLaughlin asked what was the nature of the scam where the $145,000 was stolen and the chief and deputy chief said they did not know.
The chief regularly informs the community about new scams, and recently issued these tips:
- Never give personal information to unknown persons over the telephone or electronically.
- Be suspicious of unsolicited telephone calls, voice messages, text messages, and e-mails.
- Never communicate with these scammers and block the scammer’s telephone number and e-mail address.
- Never wire or send money in response to an unknown person who makes an unexpected demand.
- Contact our police department at 203-594-3500 for assistance and we will help.