Scammed! Victim Warns Others Not to Fall for Scam - Exclusive Story Here!
By M.C. Millman
After losing nearly $1,000 earlier this afternoon, a shaken chasid shares his story moments after it happened to prevent others from falling prey to wily scammers.
"I am an aware consumer," the Boro Park resident begins his unfortunate tale. "I know about scams, but this was very professionally done."
After being scammed, one of the Boro Park's residents' first thoughts was to call BoroPark24 to share what had happened to him to make people aware of this story and prevent others from losing money in the same way.
"I got a call from a number," he tells BoroPark24. "I checked my caller i.d., and it came up Bank of America. They had my name and address, and asked if I had opened a checking account within the last week with them."
He hadn't. The representative, sounding deeply concerned, told him that apparently his identity had been stolen and that someone else had opened a bank account in his name and was using Zelle to send money from his cell phone number.
"He sounded very legit," said the victim. "That is what I want people to be aware of. He didn't have any accent – he sounded totally American."
He was given a claim number and told his Bank of America account would be closed, but the would have to straighten it out with Zelle himself. He was given a claim number that began with BOA, and in what seemed to be an extra helpful move, the representative gave him the Zelle number to call.
He called and got a pre-recorded professional-sounding message saying, "You have reached Zelle. To talk to representative press …" and so the saga continued.
The Zelle representative was also professional sounding, with no accent. He asked for the claim number and verified that two Zelle payments had been made using the stolen identity. In order to fix the problem, the representative said they would have to verify the callers identity by using the chasid's original Chase account (where he usually sent Zelle from).
Thinking the representative was helping him, he entered the email with an @zelle in it and then entered the code of 892, which was allegedly supposed to verify his Zelle account.
"At this point, I was half skeptical," the victim admits." I asked why those numbers, and he said, 'I'm telling you, just follow the instruction!' so even though I thought something didn't make sense, but I was scared someone had stolen my identity and was using it at Bank of America, and I wanted it cleared up.
"I saw right away $892 was deducted, but the guy said I had done something wrong. 'Enter 1999 this time,' he told me."
At this point, the Boro Park resident asked for verification.
"You don't want to be helped!" the "Zelle representative" berated him. "That's up to you, but if you put down the phone, we won't refund you the money."
Despite the threat, the victim hung up the phone. When he tried the Zelle 800 number again, the number was already disconnected.
After a phone call to Chase, he discovered nothing could be done to recover the $892 he had authorized through Zelle.
"After losing nearly $1,000," the vicitm said, "I figured I want people to be aware of it, so it doesn't happen to them. They called me from the Bank of America (and that number is a legitimate number, I called it back!) But maybe for someone else, they'll pretend to be from Chase. Wherever the call comes from- people should just be aware.
And the conclusion?
"All I can say," the victim tells BoroPark24, "is that baruch Hashem that He put into me the idea to stop there, so I didn't lose any more!"
photo credit: Flickr