ROANOKE, Va (WFXR) — Some people in southwest Virginia are out of thousands of dollars after they were scammed on what they thought was the popular mobile banking app, Chime.
It turns out they were not talking to Chime, but they had scammers on the other end of the line.
Frank Storm says he was scammed out of nearly $2,000.
“My wife can’t pay the electric, I don’t need my electric shut off so I gotta call them. It’s a lot of running for me and her, because I gotta call credit acceptance and explain why I’m not paying them,” said Storm.
He says he was trying to get an account set up on Chime for his wife. After a quick internet search, he called what he thought was a Chime support phone number to help, but the number turned out to be fake.
Storm was instructed to download an app called “Anydesk,” which allowed the scammer to take control of his phone.
“And like I didn’t have to touch a button on my phone they, everything was just done, my phone was just moving around doing everything they needed to do, and they just took my money,” said Storm.
Shannon Andrews shared she was also trying to contact customer service. When she downloaded an app and verified personal information, she didn’t know she was not speaking with a legitimate Chime representative.
Scammers were also able to drain her Cash App account.
“They told me to download this app, and all of a sudden they told me to go to my Cashapp, and went I went all my money had been transferred out. There was nothing,” said Andrews.
Neither Andrews nor Storm have had any luck getting their money back.
“It’s just hard, you know, nowadays the cost of living is a little high, and it’s hard to do it by yourself, and when you do work hard for it, it makes a difference when it’s all snatched from you,” said Andrews.
CEO of Mad Data, Mary Hamilton, says scammers are usually highly intelligent, and with new advances in technology, their tactics are only getting more clever.
“Hackers are not stupid, they’re brilliant business people, so they’re going to engineer things the easiest way possible for them to benefit, unfortunately for other people to become pray at that point,” said Hamilton.
However, she says there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your finances.
“Make sure you’re keeping a strong complicated password, make sure you’ve installed multi-factor authentication on the app itself, if they’re asking for updated information if they’re asking you know, you know please send your email or we need to verify your credentials or you’ve got this, go to the website, never click on the links,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton adds that if you are a victim of scamming it’s important to report the incident to the company itself. She added you should also report it to the FBI so they can try to stop this from happening in the future.