ORLANDO, Fla. — Action 9 has heard from victims across the country about a growing scheme that starts with a simple text.
“It said, ‘Did you authorize this wire transfer?’ and I said, ‘No.’” Courtney Capo explained how that text was then followed with a reply that read, ‘Chase Bank, thank you for your confirmation.’
Capo said she got a call two minutes later. The scammer on the line told her he was calling from Chase, and she said she was told, “‘I’m calling on a recorded line from the fraud department.’”
“It’s devastating. It’s absolutely devastating. I feel like my world has collapsed in on me. I feel like I’ve been violated. I feel scared,” Susan Youth from Seattle said.
She lost $29,000, and Capo lost over $11,000.
They both claim the scammers called from Chase numbers and already had some of their banking information.
“It was the exact same number, but it wasn’t Chase. It was an imposter,” Youth explained.
Armed with personal details, the crooks convinced them there were fraudulent wire transfers they needed to reverse. They were then directed to process transactions described as ‘reversal adjustments.’
“They can ask you to move money that they need to protect your money. So, you need to move it to another place. Things like that should be red flags,” said FBI supervisory special agent Tammy Mizer.
Mizer said this bank scam happens fast, that’s why the FBI created the Internet Complaint Center known as ic3, and in 2018, the agency added the Recovery Asset Team (RAT).
“There’s a team behind the scenes that will then try to work with the banks and say, ‘Hey, this was fraud. We need to freeze this and pull this back,’” Mizer said.
Mizer says RAT works 24 hours a day. As soon as a consumer sends ic3 a complaint, an analyst at the bureau can contact financial institutions involved, asking them to stop activity on those accounts. She stressed that time is of the essence because the faster they get the complaint, the better the chances they have of putting a halt to the heist.
“If you have savvy criminals talking victim A into wiring money to subject B and they are sitting there, logged into that waiting for that money to show up, then they’re going to sweep it as soon as it gets there,” Mizer said.
Over the past five years, ic3 has received 3.2million complaints with losses totaling over $27billion.
Capo knows all too well how devastating it can be.
“I’ve never had that much money in my account. So, for me to lose all of it in a matter of five minutes is very traumatic,” Capo said.
According to the FBI, the recovery team has a 73% success rate when complaints are received immediately after the scam happens.
To learn more about ic3 and how the FBI can help stop crooks in their tracks, visit ic3.gov.
Bank scam consumer tips:
- Never provide any personal information to anyone who claims to be your bank over the phone
- Never believe caller ID
- Get a fraud notification? Call the bank yourself to verify
- Never give anyone remote access to your phone or computer
- And Slow down, people make mistakes when they are in a hurry
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