❗ Police are warning of a scam targeting New Jersey Transit and PATH riders

💸 Victims are seeing their bank accounts drained in seconds

📱 Do not give any stranger your phone, no matter how desperate they sound

No matter how desperate someone may sound, if they come asking to borrow your phone on a train platform or inside the station, do not give it to them.

Hoboken police have sent the alert about a rise in cell phone scams that could end up draining your bank account.

"Beware of Venmo/Zelle scams," read electronic message boards at New Jersey Transit's Hoboken Terminal.

Hoboken Police warned on Twitter, "We want to remind all our City of Hoboken residents and everyone visiting our great city to not hand over your cell phone to anyone."

Hoboken Police
Hoboken Police

Typically, someone will approach you asking for a small donation for a sick coach or a sick relative. If you agree, they ask for your phone to make the transfer on a cash app like Zelle or Venmo. While you are distracted, they change the amount of the donation.

In other cases, police say bad actors will just run off with the phone to try and sell it.

These scams are not new, but law enforcement has noted a rise in recent weeks and months.

Often, the scammers are male teenagers, but increasingly younger kids have been used in the scam to try and engender more sympathy for unwitting victims.

If you are approached, do not fall for the scam, police say, and contact police immediately.

You can speak to an officer at the station, or call New Jersey Transit Police at 973-378-6565.

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