Gazelle’s Bank Account Was Drained Dry After Falling Victim To Spoofing Scam
The level of rage running through my veins was explosive when I learned I'd been scammed.
Every ounce of me wanted to retaliate against the person I spoke to on the phone who disguised themselves as a representative of my bank but I knew I'd never get the chance.
The other day I received a phone call that rocked my world. The caller ID displayed my bank's name so I answered.
Little did I know that the person on the other end was ready to go on a phishing trip and I was about to get spoofed.
Wondering what spoofing is? Here's what the Federal Communications Commission says:
'Caller ID Spoofing' is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity. Scammers often use neighbor spoofing so it appears that an incoming call is coming from a local number, or spoof a number from a company or a government agency that you may already know and trust. If you answer, they use scam scripts to try to steal your money or valuable personal information, which can be used in fraudulent activity.
I consider myself tech-savvy and intelligent enough to realize when I'm getting a scam call or email, but this one took the cake. Not only was the scammer's phone number masked with what appeared to be my bank's number, but the scammer had a lot of my information all ready to go.
The scammer identified himself as someone from my bank's fraudulent activity department and asked me if I was in Arizona. I said no, to which he replied with a list of items supposedly bought using my bank account. It all added up to thousands of dollars.
This is where things get dicey.
The scammer then asked if I recently spent $6.82 at Dunkin' in Fairhaven to which I replied yes.
"Did you send a $300 Venmo to (insert friend's name here." Also yes.
This guy had me hook, line and sinker. He earned my trust. I had no doubt this was my bank trying to help me with my finances. It wasn't until the scammer sent me a text with a few numbers on it that I was royally screwed.
"Can you please repeat back to me the confirmation number code we just sent you?" the scammer asked
The moment I hung up the phone, I opened my app to make sure all was dandy and that's when I realized my money was gone. It's been the longest 24 hours of my financial life, and I still have a long way to go in fighting.
Here's the takeaway:
If you feel something isn't right, just hang up and call back your bank. I was too emotionally invested to realize I was getting played like a fool. I'm embarrassed, to say the least, but it's a lesson learned.
Use caution and never give out any personal information over the phone. Unless you want to end up like me.