It appears that scammers are instilling “fear” in their victims to obtain some cash.
One man lost half of his life savings through this scheme, ABC 7 reported.
The outlet’s viewers claim that they have been contacted by people identifying themselves to be with the bank, but in reality, it is a scam.
“The Bank of America identification came up on my phone,” said David Barnett, who fell on the scheme thinking that it was the real Bank of America reaching out to him.
But at that time, someone was already hacking into his account.
“He said there was somebody in Georgia who was trying to make a withdrawal from my account into his account for a large sum of money,” Barnett said.
He was instructed by the scammer to do something immediately to prevent the withdrawal.
“In this day and age, it would be totally understandable. There’s fraud and it’s rampant. My thought was my money is going away, I’d better act quickly,” he said.
To save his money, he was urged by the man to transfer it fast to a separate bank.
“He walked me through the process, which I thought was very nice. He sounded like he knew what he was doing. And he did,” the victim said, who was instructed by the man to transfer the money to Chase Bank through the Zelle payment app.
“And as I was doing it, there was a little voice that said, ‘This seems very unorthodox to me, why would I be transferring money into another account?’ But I suspended my disbelief, and I made the transfer,” he said.
But as soon as he sent the cash, the realization hit him. He had been scammed.
“I felt like, boy, how could I have been taken like that? Here I was being told I was defrauded, by a man who was defrauding me. In the guise of helping me. He was defrauding me,” he said.
He reached out to Bank of America but the scammer had already taken hold of his money.
“Unfortunately it was a large sum of money, about half the amount I had. Yes, I kissed the money goodbye,” he said.
Money transfers happen in an instant, Bank of America told 7 On Your Side. While the bank can attempt to prevent the transfer, “there is no guarantee because the scammer takes the money as soon as it’s sent.”
But within days, Barnett was informed by Bank of America that he can get his scammed money full. It, however, did not reveal whether they had caught the suspect.
“I was pretty amazed. I got my money back and I’m very grateful for that,” he said.