STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. - Scamming people out of money is a full-time job for some people. A FOX 5 viewer reached out to us to talk about a telephone lure, the online con, and her delete button escape.
Annissa Roberts told us what she told a DeKalb Police detective.
"I did what they asked me to do. I opened up my bank account."
A scammer, she said, posed as an Amazon fraud investigator and nearly stole her savings.
"I received a phone call stating he was from Amazon, and I was being charged for an iPhone in the amount of $345.99."
She’s a long-time shopper of the online retail giant, so she listened because she didn’t order a cell phone.
"The reason why he was calling is because the phone was going to North Carolina and he realized I lived in Stone Mountain, Georgia."
He was there to stop this purchase, she told me, but she needed to get to her computer. She told the FOX 5 I-Team that he gave her a link; she opened it up; she hit ‘accept’ and the con was on.
Her voice still quivered a bit when she re-told the story.
"Then all of the sudden he starts taking control over my computer."
She had misgivings. He had an answer. His screen offered up what he called evidence it was OK. His name and number, his company ID, and the phone purchase information.
"I was shaking. I was nervous."
The online picture did look like it was from Amazon. But she was still suspicous, so she did something to protect herself while he talked. She logged onto her bank account and transferred her money from her checking to savings. All of it.
And good thing she did, soon enough he had her open her account for him and he began to poke around.
"He hovers over and clicks my checking. Of course he sees there’s no balance there then he hovers over to my savings account," she told the FOX 5's I-Team Dana Fowle.
Then she made the smart decision to disconnect. Just one click away from losing it all. And it’s all been documented in her report to the police - someone posing as an agent of a legitimate company trying to steal from her.
And it’s a story this DeKalb PD detective tells her she’s heard too many times, "It's a big problem. It's wiping people dry."
Fortunately, Annissa Robert trusted her gut instincts.
But let's go over a few red flags. No legitimate retailer will ask you to let them take over your computer. No one would need to see inside your accounts.
If you see, like you did for this scammer, a call coming in from an 833 toll-free area code, don’t answer. It’s often used by scammers as it’s not connected to geographical locations. If it’s somebody you need to talk to, they’ll leave a message.
Just be vigilante. Report it.
And help your neighbors and family members to be aware of scams like these.