Shoka Magazine: A Banking Scam Designed to Take ALL Your MONEY!
By Caroline Chase
NOTE: Caroline is one of our adult students. Thank you, Caroline, for sharing your experience.
I had a real scary experience earlier this week that left me feeling rather traumatized. I am ashamed to say I fell for well nearly fell for a serious scam. Please let me share with you my experience that I hope may help open up all my neighbors’ eyes. I never ever imagined I’d be one of those people that would be fooled by one of those wiring money to another account scam! I heard of them and I always thought no way! But I very nearly was! I am incredibly lucky that I saved myself in time.
This scam was the “DON’T TRUST YOUR INDIVIDUAL BANK AS THERE ARE CERTAIN PERSONS WHO ARE GIVING AWAY YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION TO THIRD PARTIES. AND TO PROTECT YOUR MONEY WE ARE SETTING UP A DUMMY ACCOUNT TO PROTECT YOU SINCE IT WAS AN INTERNATIONAL BREACH AND WE NEED YOU TO TRANSFER YOUR MONEY TO THE DUMMY ACCOUNT”
I will simply do my best to summarize and for those of you who wish for more detail and whole story I’m happy to send to you. It all started with a scary looking alert on my computer with a phone number to call that looked legitimately Apple but turned out to be a scammer and she proceeded to connect me with “my bank” who actually were 2 scammers in disguise and who proceeded to scare me to death about “2 fraudulent charges.”
I am ashamed to say it went as far as I did actually go into my bank and tell her the “dummy account information” but when she looked at me questioningly “What Caroline?” as I was saying what was supposed to be the cover story about renovating property in Thailand. I realized oh my god what am I doing?
That is when it all fell apart. She was verifying the information when I asked her wait, wait! And I also took time to hang up my phone on the scammer who demanded to stay on phone. I asked her, are there 2 large fraudulent charges on my history?” She said no everything is fine and was looking at me puzzled. I asked her to print my history. Everything looked completely normal and fine. I realized I had been heavily scammed. I thank God I came to my senses in time! Afterwards was terrible, I realize now it could have been much worse had I lost all that money. I felt seriously violated, traumatized, abused, terribly embarrassed, ashamed, and humiliated.
Now let me share the warning signs that this was a true scam. These people hounded me all morning, kept me on the phone wouldn’t let me hang up. I also felt tremendous fear. A bank would never scare you with the security measure to take to keep your money safe. And a bank of course would NEVER EVER, EVER have you wire money! However, I confess, it all seemed so real somehow, and these people knew the exact amounts in each of my accounts, and the phone number was the same as on back of my debit card. I give these 3 scammers an A for the brilliance of how they acted the scheme out for sounding like real professionals and having such strong persuasive powers! I give them an F for Failure of Humanity. Part of their great strategy was they gave me no breathing room. I did attempt few times to disconnect hang up so I could attempt in my own way figure out what reality was, but they’d call back and sadly I had fallen under their dark spell.
Please dear community, BE CAREFUL, BE CAREFUL, BE CAREFUL. Always, always listen to your intuition. I kept hearing this little voice that kept saying on way to bank, “just check with the teller, check with the teller” Very thankfully I finally did listen to that inner voice and my angels were present. One can’t be careful enough these days! Wishing you all a safe Beautiful Christmas!