Orlando couple accused of stealing more than $550K in phishing scam

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ORLANDO, Fla. —

An Orlando couple is accused of running an elaborate phishing scam that allowed them to steal bank account information from nearly 400 people, authorities said.

Agents said Steve and Robin Barone targeted people who bank with JP Morgan, Chase and Wells Fargo by sending emails that said a payment had been denied and they needed to click on a link to settle the discrepancy.

The link looked legit, so people went ahead and typed in their personal information, authorities said. Once the couple had Social Security numbers, maiden names and bank account numbers, they ordered replacement debit cards.


Extras: Immediate Steps to Repair Identity Theft | Extended Fraud Alerts and Credit Freezes


The Barones were arrested Thursday morning at their home on Meadow Vista Court in Orlando.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents told Channel 9 the couple comprised 396 bank accounts all over the country.

"Agents believe this couple stole money from hundreds of victims," said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey. "The crime was wide-reaching, damaging not only the obvious victims, but also other consumers and our business community."

After receiving the fraudulent debit cards, authorities said Steve Barone purchased money orders and deposited them into his business account, Steve Barone Enterprises, LLC.

FDLE agents estimate the Barones stole more than $550,000.

Authorities said the key to protecting your bank account is to never give out your personal information over the Internet, even if a website looks legit.

Agents were tipped off after Chase Bank noticed multiple cards were being sent to a home in Seminole County.

Authorities said if you think you've been a victim of one of a scam, it's important to take action quickly to stop the thieves from doing more damage.

They were booked into the Orange County Jail on $180,000 and $105,000 bonds, respectively.

Attorney General Pam Bondi's Office will prosecute the case.

The investigation is ongoing and there could be additional arrests.