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Immigrant pretended to be an Uber driver and stole money from passengers' accounts

'31.01.2024'

Alina Prikhodko

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A scammer posing as an Uber driver duped patrons of a West Village bar out of thousands of dollars. He may have pulled the same scheme on other victims, according to New York Post.

Sukhrob Suvonov, a 29-year-old Uzbek, was accused of grand theft and using a forged document. He is accused of using the trust of people who allowed him to use their phones, making purchases with their cards and transferring money to his account.

“This is a very common scheme,” one police officer said. – People continue to fall for this bait. Criminals realize how easy it is to pull off and how difficult it is for the police to track them down, so they keep doing it. So this arrest is encouraging.”

The latest digital robbery took place outside the Red Lion, a Greenwich Village establishment, on the night of Saturday, January 27, police sources said.

Common scheme

Suvonov, of Bensonhurst, allegedly posed as an Uber driver and then asked to use his cell phone to get directions, but instead transferred $3 to his own PayPal account before returning the phone.

On October 21, Suvonov used the woman's phone to charge her American Express account $3 for purchases at the Apple Store after picking her up on East 480th Street. Meanwhile, according to sources, he is suspected of at least three more similar robberies.

On the subject: Eight ways scammers are scamming New Yorkers and how to protect yourself from them.

Suvonov was arrested and charged Saturday night and is being held at the Rikers Island Jail on $5 cash bail or a $000 surety. Manhattan prosecutors had asked for his release on $25 cash bail or a $000 surety.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has drawn attention to such scams and recently sent letters to Venmo, PayPal and Zelle calling on money transfer companies to take security measures to protect user accounts.

“This is exactly the kind of case we've been talking about over the past week, where the theft of a phone can very quickly lead to a bank account being drained,” prosecutors said in a statement. “Cases like this are becoming more common, and while we certainly take prosecution very seriously, District Attorney Bragg also encourages prevention.”

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