Email scam steals $6,000 from Fresno family

CBS47 On Your Side

A Fresno family is speaking out, in an effort to warn others of an email scam making the rounds.
The scam is targeting seniors in the valley.

The family says they’ve been contacted by a thief posing as their out of state bank.

Gina Adams says,” They took over $6,000 from my father. They had to say something to frighten him. To threaten him in someway. Somehow he felt threatened enough to immediatly leave the house, even when my sister was visiting from out of town.”

Adams says her father got an email from what he thought was his arizona bank – claiming he needed to transfer money quickly. The email even had a hotline number, which he called.

A man at the other end, told her dad something was wrong with his account and he needed to immediately withdrawl money, and buy gift cards. 

“They wouldn’t allow him top get off the phone, says Adams. “Even while my sister was there he wouldn’t tell her. They just keep you on the phone so you don’t ask why am I doing this.” 

Adams says her father is an intelligent man, and he really thought it was his bank. So he purchased thousands in gift cards from several stores, and then read off the numbers to the man.

Thankfully the family caught on but only after $6,000 dollars were lost.
Adams says has a list of stores she contacted to warn them what was happening, including banks and the Fresno Police Department.

CBS47 Reporter Erik Rosales asked, “when you went to the bank, what did the teller tell you?” 
Adams says, “He said this is very common and it happened to his grandma. He said she doesn’t drive but that didn’t stop the crooks, and they offered to send Uber over to pick her up.

So spread the word anytime you are contacted by email, don’t just trust the sender. You need to confirm it with the source, like your banking institution before you send any money. 

Remember, cyber-criminals will never, ever run out of clever ploys and ingenious schemes to earn a quick buck from every victim that they can manage to reel in.

Other email scams make victims believe their email addresses have been compromised when they see the email came from their own email address. To make scam emails appear more legitimate, cybercriminals may include the victim’s password for their online accounts, which might be collected from one of the numerous data leaks from major online services.

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. Email erikrosales@cbsfresno.com