Tesla investment scam defrauds Monroe man out of $32,510

MONROE, CT — A 70-year-old Monroe man told police he lost $32,510 in a scam after being tricked into thinking he was investing in Tesla through an Elon Musk Crypto application, according to a complaint made on May 25.

In March he saw an advertisement on Facebook and entered his name to sign up for the app, before being contacted by several individuals via Telegram Messenger, police said.

On May 8, he wired $5,010 to Coinbase Inc. in San Francisco. During the transaction he was pressured by one of the people on the Telegram app to allow them to gain access to his cellphone, where they could see his bank accounts and transfer money through the Crypto application.

Police said the victim believed he was investing in Tesla and Crypto and on April 4, he sent another payment of $25,000 to Metropolitan Commercial Bank.

On April 26 he wired $1,350 to Metropolitan Bank, then another $1,150 to Cross River Bank, police said.

The people he was dealing with told him he needed to pay $3,950 in taxes on the investment and once that happened, he would get the rest of the money he wired, according to the report. That’s when he realized he was being scammed.

The Monroe Police Detective Division is investigating the case.

Monroe man extradited to Pennsylvania

Monroe police officers assisted the U.S. Marshal Service Fugitive Task Force and Connecticut State Police Violent Crime Task Force in executing an arrest warrant at a Monroe man’s Laurel Drive home early Tuesday morning.

When officers knocked on the door at approximately 5:15 a.m., police said Gregory J. Abbruzzo, 41, exited a side door and was arrested without incident.

The warrant was executed on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a parole violation, according to the report.

Abbruzzo was also served a Monroe warrant stemming from an incident in 2021, when he allegedly used a motor vehicle without the owner’s permission.

Abbruzzo was processed at the Monroe Police Department and taken to court in Bridgeport, where he was held pending extradition arrangements.

He said, he said

Two Monroe drivers were advised to obey the rules of the road Tuesday morning, after making conflicting accusations against each other following a road rage incident on Monroe Turnpike (Route 111).

At 9:08 a.m., police received a complaint about white Dodge Charger heading north on Route 111 that was allegedly passing cars and driving erratically.

Moments later, the driver walked into the police station asking to see an officer.

The 29-year-old Monroe man told police he was driving north on Route 111 in his Dodge Charger, in the area of Rygate Road, where it goes from two lanes to one lane.

He said the driver of a white pickup truck behind him passed several vehicles and attempted to pass him where the lanes merged into one. He said he was almost forced off the road by the pickup truck and, while side-by-side, the pickup truck driver allegedly yelled profanities and a racial slur at the complainant, who is Black.

The pickup truck ended up behind the Charger and followed it at a close distance, the complainant said, adding he felt unsafe. He decided to go to the police station to file a report, when he noticed the pickup turning onto Route 110.

Police contacted the driver of the white pickup truck, a 55-year-old Monroe man, who told officers the driver of the Charger attempted to pass him on the right side, where the lanes merge into one, and gave him the middle finger.

He claims he never made any comments to the other driver, adding he saw the Charger cross over the center line and pass vehicles by Monroe Elementary School.

Police advised both men of the seriousness of the allegations made against each other and told them to obey the rules of the road.

Men cut lock, bring U-Haul

While police detectives investigated a complaint of three men in a U-Haul truck cutting a lock on the gate to the supply yard at Yankocy Wholesale, 143 Enterprise Dr., and walking around the property in the overnight hours of May 21, surveillance footage showed them load what appeared to be bolt cutters and a black cylinder item into the back of the truck and leave.

Police said it is unclear what the cylinder shaped item was or the value of it.

Video footage also showed the truck driving around a commercial property at 137 Enterprise Dr., police said.

Shoplifting arrest

A 31-year-old Bronx, N.Y., woman, who allegedly stole just under $500 worth of vitamins and nutritional drinks from Walgreens pharmacy, 275 Monroe Turnpike, in March, turned herself in on a warrant Wednesday.

She was charged with sixth-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit sixth-degree larceny, and released after paying 10 percent of her $500 bond for a June 1 court date.

Stolen wallet

A 57-year-old Monroe woman reported her wallet stolen on Wednesday, after learning three unsuccessful attempts were made to make unauthorized purchases on her Visa card. Police said someone attempted to use the card at Macy’s, Target and Walmart, all in Milford.

The victim received a call from Visa and canceled the card, before canceling all of her other credit cards. The wallet also contained her Connecticut driver’s license and health insurance card.

She told police she last saw her wallet while shopping at B.J.’s Wholesale. She went to church in Bridgeport that evening, and again the next morning, before going to a doctor’s office in Fairfield, where she noticed her wallet was missing.

She was advised to contact all of the credit card companies she does business with to request times of attempted purchases, and to contact the three major credit bureaus, the Social Security Administration and the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles.

Fraudulent ATM transactions

A 37-year-old Monroe man reported two unauthorized transactions totaling $806 made by someone using his Western Union debit card at an ATM machine in a Bridgeport CVS Monday.

Police said Western Union’s fraud division is investigating and the victim was advised to file the police report. He was not credited for the money at the time of the report.

He was advised to check other financial institutions for fraudulent activities and to contact the three major credit bureaus about the incident, which is under investigation.

Unemployment benefits scam

Police received three complaints of fraudulent Connecticut Department of Labor claims for unemployment benefits in the past few days.

On Monday, a 29-year-old Monroe woman told police someone may have stolen her Social Security number after learning of a false unemployment claim for $703 a week from May 14, 2023 to May 11, 2024 with an annual maximum of $18,278.

On Wednesday, a 24-year-old Monroe man told police he received a letter from the Labor Department about an unemployment claim, which he did not apply for. It was made using his Social Security number, police said.

He is currently employed.

Police said he also received an email from a former employer, who received a second unemployment request from the Department of Labor under his name.

Then on Thursday, a 44-year-old Monroe man told police someone fraudulently used his name to file an insurance benefit request with the Department of Labor on May 24, using his name and Social Security number.

Police said the victim’s current employer received the same letter from the Department of Labor that he did.

The victims were advised to go through the fraud reporting process of the Department of Labor and to contact the three major credit bureaus and the Social Security Administration about the incidents.

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