A North Texas woman was reportedly scammed out of thousands of dollars back in June after being tricked into believing her credit union was sending her text messages.
Shanna Coulter told CBS News last week that she received a text message asking if she attempted a Zelle payment of $2,000, to which the woman replied that she had not.
Coulter then got a phone call within minutes from a person whose Caller ID falsely identified them as her bank.
Eventually, Coulter was conned out of a significant amount of money by the caller.
As reported previously in The Dallas Express, cold-call scams are widespread in the United States. Scammers have the technological ability to “spoof” numbers, misrepresenting themselves and tricking their victims into providing them with access to their finances.
Coulter was instructed by a man on the other end of the phone that in order to terminate the supposed transaction of $2,000, he needed a code that the real Zelle security team had texted her. Coulter gave it to him.
The man then had access to her Zelle account, which Coulter claimed she had never used, and he could use Zelle to send her money to himself.
“It was $1,000 a day, and of course he calls me the next day and says we are still working this case for you,” she said. It happened three days in a row.
Initially, Coulter was informed by her credit union that she might not be eligible for a refund because insurance only covers theft, not fraud. Still, the bank eventually accommodated her.
Over $300,000 has been lost by Americans to similar scams in the last year, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Tips to avoid becoming a victim of a cold-call scam include never disclosing personal information to unsolicited calls, being wary of website links, not calling numbers given to you by unsolicited calls, and ignoring texts with instructions to reply.