77-Year-Old Widow Becomes Victim of Cryptocurrency Scam, After Being Contacted by ‘Fraud Investigator’
A retired woman is contacted by someone claiming to be a fraud investigator. He gains her trust and then steals her life savings.
77-Year-Old Woman Scammed Out of $661,000 in Life Savings
CNBC reported that Marjorie Bloom, a 77-year-old retired civil servant, fell for a scam that is happening far too often to senior citizens in the US.
In 2022, Americans 60 and older lost $3.1 billion to cyber fraud, which was an 84% increase since the prior year. -FBI Springfield Press Office
Here’s what happened:
A man called Marjorie, stating that he was a “fraud investigator” at PNC Bank, the same financial institution where she was a customer.
The man informed Marjorie that criminals had stolen her personal data, and were about to steal her life savings. He then convinced her that the best way to protect her money, she would need to quickly move it elsewhere, but it was important not to tell anyone, including her children.
If Marjorie had told her children, the scam could have been prevented. This is why anyone who receives a call from a scammer claiming to be an officer or investigator should immediately get off the phone and go to the local police station and report what is happening.
Unfortunately for her, she followed the man’s instructions. She cashed out $661,000 from her savings, stock, and annuity and converted it to cryptocurrency so she could wire it to the scammer.
The scammer was supposed to call her back, but the final phone call from the fake PNC fraud investigator never came. This is when Marjorie realized that her life savings was all gone, and she was the victim of a scam.
Quick Tips to Avoid a Scam
Scams can happen to anyone, but those who are informed on the subject can prevent them and get out of them before losses happen.
Here are some quick tips to thwart scammers.
- Never answer phone calls from unknown numbers and never reply to texts or emails from people you don’t know. Never click any links. Always go to the direct website that you know is correct. Get off the phone with the stranger, and call the direct number you know is correct found on the back of your debit card or credit card.
- If you are on the phone with someone claiming to assist you because there is a hacker or scammer accessing your account, remember never to give your PIN number or any 2-factor authentication code you receive. A real technical support or fraud employee would never need a PIN or 2-factor authentication code to access your account. Only scammers request this type of info.
FBI Springfield Press Office. “Internet Crime Complaint Center Releases 2022 Statistics.” FBI.gov. 22 March 2023.
Iacurci, Greg. “How this 77-year-old widow lost $661,000 in a common tech scam: ‘I realized I had been defrauded of everything’.” CNBC. 8 October 2023.
Read Another Article by this Author:
“Tennessee Woman Loses $390,000 in Cryptocurrency Romance Scam After Getting Her Mother’s Inheritance.” Newsbreak. 17 October 2022.