Action 9

‘Very traumatic’: Sophisticated scheme swindles couple out of lifesavings

ORLANDO, Fla. — A local couple spent years saving for their wedding and their future life together, but bride-to-be Courtney Capo said scammers wiped out their bank accounts in a matter of minutes.

Capo said it started when she received a text message asking her if she had authorized a wire transfer. Then, after she replied to the message with a ‘No,’ she got a call from someone claiming to be from her bank.

“My name’s Adam. I’m calling from Chase bank,” Capo said she heard from the caller. “I’m calling on a recorded line from the fraud department.”

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She said the number that appeared on her phone was the same number that was on the back of her Chase bank card. Capo claims the man knew everything about her.

“Last four of my social, my account numbers, my balances in my account, my birthday, my last transaction, I didn’t give them any information whatsoever. He had all of it,” Capo explained.

Armed with personal details, the crook convinced her there were fraudulent wire transfers she needed to reverse. The scammer instructed Capo to make two transactions labeled ‘reversal adjustments,’ totaling over $11,000.

“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.

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She immediately filed a police report and contacted Chase. At first, she says the bank told her there was nothing they could do since she was scammed into making the wire transfers herself.

“They’re not listening to how this happened, the phone call I got, the text message. I got a call from a Chase phone number,” Capo said.

“The big debate right now is around scams and authorized versus unauthorized payments, especially when it comes to banks,” said Eva Velasquez with the Identity Theft Resource Center.

Velasquez said scams where consumers are tricked into wiring money can be tougher to fight. She said, because these schemes are running rampant, consumers can’t afford to trust anyone claiming to be from their bank.

“If you get incoming communication, a text message, a phone call, you don’t have to engage in that moment. Go and contact your bank through the means that you normally do. If it’s really tricky, go to a branch, and talk with a real human being,” Velasquez suggested.

Action 9 contacted Chase. A company representative told us they’re still looking into Capo’s wire scam.

Capo said this has left her and her fiancé in a tough spot. “He literally wiped everything out of our account down to the penny. So, it’s financially strapped right now.”

She also filed reports with the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission.

If anyone claims to be from your bank and asks you to send money or do a wire transfer to other accounts, that’s a huge red flag.

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