Trending Topics

Couple Swindled Out of $137,000 In Scheme Impersonating Chase Bank Fraud Department

When a Colorado couple got a text message claiming to be from the fraud team at Chase, their bank, they thought they were being pro-active by responding. Turns out it wasn’t a text from Chase, but from scammers who wound up taking over $137,000 from the couple.

Photo by Yan Krukau:

Here’s What Happened

Scott Zoll had gotten a text to his phone on Jan. 12 that said, “Chase Alerts: Did you attempt to send a Wire transfer for the amount of $4,500.00? Reply Y or N. STOP to end.”

The account in question was his business account, so he contacted his business partners to see if they knew anything about a transfer.

“At that point, before I did anything else, I reached out to my business partners and asked if they had initiated a wire. They had not,” Scott told KDVR Fox 31 News. “So I then called the bank branch to see if they could see any activity on my account.”

The Chase Bank branch gave him a number to its fraud department. But instead of calling, he decided to respond to the text.

“At that point, I acknowledged the text that came through, said, ‘No, we did not initiate this wire,’ got a text back immediately saying somebody from the Chase fraud team will be in contact with you. Probably within 30 seconds, I received a phone call from the exact number that the branch had just given me,” Scott said.

So it all appeared legitimate.

Turns out, the scammers spoofed the Chase fraud team’s number.

Call spoofing occurs when individuals alter their caller ID information to conceal their true identity. This technique is often exploited by scammers who impersonate government agencies or reputable companies to deceive individuals into providing money or sensitive personal information, leading to potential fraud, according to Experian.

The scammers manipulated Scott into providing a one-time passcode, leading to fraudulent wire transfers totaling $137,130.

The majority of the funds were withdrawn from Scott Zoll’s business account, with additional losses from his personal account shared with his wife, Kate.

“Every day, we just wake up and feel like we’re living kind of a nightmare right now,” Kate expressed.

Reflecting on the experience, Scott noted the scammers’ detailed knowledge and sophisticated approach, mimicking authentic banking procedures.

According to recent FBI statistics, Colorado residents lost significant sums to phishing and spoofing scams in 2022, highlighting the increasing sophistication of such schemes.

Supervisory Special Agent Brian Blauser of the FBI urged caution against unsolicited communications and advised victims to report scams promptly and verify contacts using trusted sources.

Scott and Kate expressed frustration over Chase Bank’s failure to detect the scam in real time, emphasizing the need for improved fraud detection measures.

Despite ongoing efforts to recover the funds, including wire recalls and assistance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Zolls remain uncertain about full reimbursement.

Chase Bank provided guidance on protecting against scams, emphasizing vigilance in safeguarding personal and financial information and verifying communications from banks through official channels.

Overall, the Zolls’ experience underscores the growing threat of sophisticated scams and the importance of proactive measures to mitigate financial fraud risks.

How to Protect Yourself From Fraud

Here are some key reminders Chase Bank shared with FOX31 for what consumers and businesses should remember to protect against scams.

  • Protect personal account information, ATM pins, passwords, and one-time passcodes; never share these details with anyone, especially if they claim to be from your bank.
  • Verify the legitimacy of companies by calling the number on their official website.
  • Ensure the legitimacy of your bank representative by contacting the number on the back of your debit or credit card or visiting a branch.
  • Be cautious of spoofed phone numbers; if in doubt, hang up and directly call your bank using trusted contact information.
  • Avoid clicking on suspicious links in texts or emails or granting remote access to devices.
  • Do not respond to unsolicited requests for money or access to your accounts; legitimate banks won’t ask you to send money to prevent fraud.
  • Stay vigilant against pressure or threats to provide personal information or money; pause and assess if the situation aligns with legitimate company practices.

What people are saying

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top