By Stephanie Ballesteros


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UNION, N.J. (CBS) – Police in New Jersey are warning residents to be wary of panhandling scammers. Union Township Police posted on Facebook a photo of a woman they say was asking for cash for her baby, but was seen with a new iPhone X and a $500 purse.

The incident happened near Vauxhall Road and Hilton Avenue in Union, New Jersey. Police say the woman was walking in and out of traffic, holding a sign that said, “I have 1 baby. Please in the name of God, help me to buy baby stuff and diapers.”

Police In New Jersey Town Warn Of 'Panhandler' Caught With New iPhone X, $500 Purse

Township of Union NJ Police Department/Facebook

They say the woman, who claimed to be from Romania and now living in Queens, New York, “did not appear to be in critical need of cash.”

“It is nice to be charitable, but it’s not a good idea to donate to someone on the side of the road with a sign,” posted Union Police on Facebook. “If you see someone who may need help, you can call our HQ and our officers will respond and assess.”

Investigators say the woman admitted she and several other women had been dropped off to panhandle throughout New Jersey.

The woman was issued a township summons for soliciting without a permit and a ticket for impeding the flow of traffic.

Stephanie Ballesteros