Former Miss New York sounds alarm after teens rob her of $2K in Zelle scam

Darla Miles Image
Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Former Miss New York sounds alarm after being robbed of $2K in Zelle scam
Darla Miles has the latest details on a Zelle scam.

NEW YORK -- A former Miss New York says two teens tricked her into sending them $2,000 using the digital payment app Zelle.

She said the seemingly polite kids, who claimed to be soliciting donations for their basketball team, turned out to be con artists.

Now, Briana Siaca is spreading the word on social media and urging people to keep their guard up.

The world of pageantry prepared Siaca to become Miss New York 2021 and to put on a brave face about becoming the victim of a fairly common Zelle scam.

"People are questioning if I'm a New Yorker and saying really negative things about me, and I knew that this would cause negative attention and people would have something to say," she said.

The 30-year-old former beauty queen posted on social media about being approached by a group of teens in a Manhattan park on Saturday.

She said they asked for a donation for their basketball team.

"I said, 'Yeah, I yeah, I can give you five bucks, what's your Zelle,'" Siaca said. "I opened my Zelle and I asked, 'What's your account.' He goes 'Oh no, don't worry ma'am. I'll put it in for you ma'am, no problem.' I looked at my Zelle account and I sent $2,000."

Siaca immediately reported the incident to her bank and the NYPD but she also felt a duty to warn other people.

"When I put the video out, hundreds of people reached out and said they were a victim of this," she added.

The NYPD was also on social media about the scam and warned New Yorkers never to hand over their phone.

"I was putting my heart forward. I wasn't even thinking. I just believed them," she said.