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police & fire

Man Loses $1,000 To Con Artist At Rockland Costco

Costco in Nanuet.
Costco in Nanuet. Photo Credit: Google Maps

ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. - A con artist got one over on a man from Congers, scamming him out of $1,000 pretending to be a jet-setting Italian fashionista.

A 47-year-old man - who requested anonymity - reported to the Clarkstown Police Department this week that he had been scammed by a fraudster outside Costco in Nanuet.

Police said that as the man was entering Costco, an Italian man asked him for directions to the JFK Triboro Bridge, explaining that he had a plane to catch back to Milan after attending fashion shows in Manhattan.

The scammer claimed that he had nine jackets he couldn’t bring back with him, because he would have to declare and pay taxes on them, stating that the jackets were left over from the fashion shows. The jackets were allegedly sample sets from the 2017 collection, and the scammer provided his victim with a catalog to see similar styles from the company.

Police said that the fraudster provided the man with a telephone number, stating that if he was unhappy with the jackets he could return them and receive a refund.

“The suspect was very authentic looking, (an) Italian man with a super convincing accent and story,” the man told police, saying he was a professional con artist.

The jackets turned out to all be counterfeit, police said, knockoff Ferrari and designer jackets.

“The scammer puts the pressure on the victim due to a lack of timeframe in order to get on the airplane on time,” police noted. “He claims that the phone he carries is an Italian telephone number, therefore when the victim asked to call his wife from his phone, he refused using this reason.

Officials from the Clarkstown Police Department cautioned that residents should be wary of anyone suspicious who approaches them during the holiday season.

“Bottom line this is a professional group that looks 100 percent authentic. He provided (his) victim with a catalog a business card for a return policy and conned victim out of $1,000. He originally started by out by making the victim an offer of purchasing one jacket at full price and he would include the rest of them for free.”

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