An 81-year-old New Jersey woman is one of more than 31,000 state residents to report identity theft to police. Federal Trade Commission 2021 years.
According to NJ.com, Carol Robinson was a victim of scam In late October 2021, this turned out to be a $420,000 mistake.
A Freehold resident and widow realized she had been cheated after receiving a questionable email regarding a $499.99 annual fee charged to her. wells fargo account. She immediately called the number provided and requested a refund.
According to nj.com, she said of the fake representative, “He said no problem. He can handle it.
“He asked if he could go to my computer and delete the files. I’ve done this for years with no problem, so I said yes.”
The man had access to Robinson’s bank account, where she kept checks and IRA funds.
She continued, “He asked me to put my name in. When it came to the refund amount rounded to $500, it magically came to $50,000,” she said. I was told no problem. Make a wire transfer to correct the error. ”
The scammer warned Robinson not to inform Wells Fargo of the financial error, as it could be suspected that money laundering was involved. He told everyone to let them know that the $50,000 amount was for the purchase of antique furniture.
Soon after, the scammers supposedly tried to thwart all suspicions of money laundering by opening an account in Robinson’s name on a Cayman Islands-registered cryptocurrency exchange called Binance.
“In retrospect, I still get the error over and over again and I should have unplugged it,” she said. “If you were watching this as a movie, you’d be screaming at the screen.”
Robinson then approved three separate deals from the IRA over the next few days. First he was $49,500, then he was $39,500, then he was $221,000. When asked, she told them exactly what her scammers had told her: she bought antique furniture.
Her next target was her home. The crooks opened a line of credit for her home equity in Robinson’s name at another bank. They wiped her $99,500 against her mortgage-free home.
Robinson is working tirelessly to get her money back. Federal Bureau of Investigation, of Federal Trade Commission, of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Police and local lawmakers, but justice did not prevail.
“I’m embarrassed and I feel victimized, but I’m not,” she said.
The $320,000 stolen from Wells Fargo’s checking account and IRA appears to be unresolved. Wells Fargo is calling attention to the public.
“If someone asks you to send money and tells you to lie to your bank about the reason for the transfer, that is a red flag that you are being scammed,” advises Wells Fargo. “Don’t be afraid to end communication with someone who contacts you, and take the time to find out what you can do.”
Robinson is still dealing with the aftermath.
“I’m the widow of an airline pilot, so the journey isn’t over until you land and pick up your luggage,” Robinson said. “The thief was really good. It’s been 10 months and we’re still fighting.”