Omaha family falls victim to new cash app scam, warns others

WOWT 6 News Live at 10
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 5:51 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - One Omaha family warns others of a very costly scam that tricks you into one simple click and opens the door to your bank account.

The victims want to spread the word, hoping that others can save their Christmas money from scammers.

Carrie Peters has been focused on giving this holiday season, but she wishes she had thought more about those who take.

“Yeah it’s going to hurt this Christmas because we had that money put aside for two specific things,” Peters said.

The scam started with a phone call from her bank’s number, warning of an unauthorized purchase.

“Come to find out at the end of the day it was not legitimately Wells Fargo, it was a scammer,” she said. “And they were doing Cash App scams.”

Scammers have been known to often clone bank phone numbers to fool victims into answering calls or text messages. The Better Business Bureau claims ‘tis the season for sophisticated scams.

The text claimed Carrie had sent $1,000 through the Zelle Cash App and shocked by that notice, she typed “STOP.”

“It seems the trigger that provided these crooks with the access was her responding to the text message,” said Jim Hegarty, President and CEO, Better Business Bureau.

Within seconds the scammers used Zelle to pull $1,000 from her bank account and sent it to another that has likely been drained and closed.

“It takes away holiday spirit,” said Peters. “Because financially it takes away from you but also makes you feel vulnerable, and makes you feel stupid.”

Peters said she notified the real Wells Fargo Fraud Unit right away.

“They said call back in 24 hours and we’ll pull that money back from Zelle but that never happened,” she said.

Peters says no money has been returned to her account and the bank answered her request for reimbursement.

“We respectfully deny your claim,” Peters said.

But she hopes that her loss will help others save their money from similar cash app scams.

Wells Fargo tells 6 News they can’t comment on issues involving specific customers. But after being contacted by 6 News, Carrie Peters says she got a call that her loss claim is being reviewed.

A Wells Fargo spokesperson says that the bank works with other banks to recover funds when possible. Wells Fargo has also launched a campaign to raise awareness of imposter scams.

Wells Fargo provided tips for consumers this holiday season:

  • If a person believes that they have been a victim of a scam, we encourage them to report the scam promptly and provide as much information as possible. Although it may not always be possible to recover the funds on behalf of victims, Wells Fargo works together with other financial institutions and law enforcement to help identify suspects and recover funds when possible
  • We never want to see anyone become a victim of fraud, and it is heartbreaking when people are scammed of their hard-earned savings.
  • One common scenario to look out for is a financial imposter. Scammers can spoof their caller ID number and use bits of your personal information to convince you to reveal your access code and steal your money. To avoid this situation, never share your temporary access codes or PIN with anyone who calls you unexpectedly. Your bank or the government will never ask you for this information.
  • Avoid sending money or giving your account information to anyone you don’t know or a company you can’t verify as a legitimate.
  • If you are uncomfortable with a request received by phone call or text that you didn’t initiate, don’t respond and hang up immediately. Contact the company using legitimate sources such as a phone number on their website.

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