SNY color commentator Keith Hernandez humorously revealed to Mets fans during Wednesday’s broadcast in Philadelphia how he was nearly duped by an online phishing scam.
Hernandez, 68, who splits his time between Long Island and Florida, recalled during the third inning of the Mets vs. Phillies matinee how a man with a “Spanish accent” nearly convinced him to fraudulently send funds over the online payment system Zelle.
While telling the tale, the Mets legend was chided on-air by play-by-play announcer Gary Cohen for falling for a “senior citizen” swindle.
“I got an email with the FPL, which is Florida Power & Light, logo, which said: ‘You … did not pay a down payment of X amount of dollars and … we’re going to send a guy out today. If it’s not paid within 30 minutes we’re going to shut your power down,’” Hernandez recounted.
“Thirty minutes! And I bit the hook,” he admitted.
“You fell for that?” Cohen asked incredulously.
“I called the number like an idiot, and I’m listening to this guy, and then finally I snap,” Hernandez said as Cohen cracked up.
“I go ‘I know you are a monopoly. I’ve been here for 27-plus years. I pay on time. And you’re going to send a guy out and shut my power down in 30 minutes? That is baloney!,” he said, censoring his language for TV.
Hernandez avoided striking out in disgrace after calling a trusted financial professional, he said.
“I called my banking institution … she just said ‘Keith, no, no, no.’”
“I had to pay through Zelle. And I never heard of Zelle. And it’s really almost like Todd Zeile’s spelling,” he said, referencing the Mets former first baseman.
“I go, ‘what the heck is that? You’ve got to be kidding me.’ Then, it kind of sunk in.”
Hernandez told listeners he was vulnerable to the racket because it was early in the morning, and he was only on his first cup of coffee.
“You know unfortunately these kind of scams often get perpetrated on senior citizens like yourself. I just don’t expect you to be the one to fall for it,” Cohen quipped.
The Mets defeated Philadelphia 9-6 to win the three-game series between the teams.
Footage of the animated broadcast booth confessional was trending on Twitter after the game.