Dear Neighbor:

The Nassau County Police Department is warning residents to be on the lookout for "deception and distraction" and "Canadian lottery" scams that target the elderly.

The warning comes on the heels of two robberies that took place in Albertson and New Hyde Park on Wednesday.  In both cases, one crook claimed he knew the victim many years ago, said he was working in the area, and chatted with the victim while the other crook robbed the house.  Worse, they used a young child as part of both deception schemes.

In these "distraction and deception" schemes, a team of con artists usually poses as utility workers or contractors in order to get access into a home or apartment.  Once in, they steal.

"Canadian Lottery" scammers contact victims by phone, advise them that they've won the Canadian Lottery, and instruct them to send money through a wire service to cover any expenses.  Naturally, there is no lottery or money forthcoming.

To avoid falling prey to the con artists who may be the area, I urge you to heed the advice of the police:

    1. Look through a peephole or window before answering your door.
    2. Don't open your door to people you don't know and who you aren't expecting.
    3. Get identification from people who claim to provide services in and around your house.  Legitimate contractors (most are) should be happy to provide you with it.
    4. Call 911 if you have any doubts.

I urge you to be careful, and be safe.

Senator Michael Balboni

p.s. Detectives ask that anyone with information on the Albertson and New Hyde Park crimes please call the Third Squad at 516-573-6352.