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Couple Scammed Out of Thousands: FBI Investigates Alarming Trend (Video)

Introduction

A couple has fallen victim to a sophisticated scam, losing tens of thousands of dollars. This incident highlights a growing trend that the FBI is monitoring closely. Here is what happened and what you should look out for to avoid similar scams.

The Initial Contact

Crystal received a call on a Thursday afternoon from someone claiming to be with Chase Bank. The caller informed her of suspicious activity on her account, including a purchase from a Walmart in Cleveland, Ohio, for $2,043. Crystal denied making the purchase.

Verification Process

The caller read off several other transactions from Crystal’s account, verifying their authenticity. Despite not giving out personal information, the caller knew the last four digits of Crystal’s debit card.

Daughter’s Involvement

Concerned, Crystal asked her daughter to verify the phone number that had called her. After checking online, her daughter confirmed it appeared to be a legitimate Chase Bank number. Crystal then called the number back.

Access Code Request

The scammer, posing as a Chase representative, asked Crystal to verify her account by sending her an access code. This seemed legitimate to Crystal as it matched the format of codes she had received from Chase before. She provided the code to the caller.

Scam Unfolds

Immediately after providing the access code, Crystal noticed unauthorized money transfers between her accounts. Realizing it was a scam, she contacted her card issuer and was advised to visit a Chase Bank branch immediately.

Attempt to Freeze Account

Crystal went to a local Chase branch in Carlsbad, then to Vista, and finally to San Marcos, seeking help to freeze her accounts. Despite her proactive efforts, the process was delayed by red tape.

Large Transfer

While at the bank, Crystal learned that a $49,500 wire transfer had been initiated from her account. Despite being at the bank for nearly an hour, the freeze on her account was not applied until four and a half hours after the fraud began.

Frustration with Chase Bank

The couple expressed frustration with the slow response from Chase Bank. They believe that had their account been frozen promptly, the significant loss could have been prevented.

FBI Involvement

The couple has contacted the FBI and several lawyers. They have also opened a case with Chase Bank. The FBI has noted an alarming increase in such financial scams.

Chase Bank’s Statement

Chase Bank acknowledged the heartbreaking nature of these scams and advised customers to be wary of new contacts asking for codes. They emphasized the importance of calling the number on the back of debit or credit cards to verify contacts.

Conclusion

This incident serves as a cautionary tale about the sophistication of financial scams. Always verify the legitimacy of calls from your bank and be cautious when asked to provide access codes or personal information. The FBI continues to investigate these alarming trends in financial scams.

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