When an Ontario woman was contacted by someone claiming to work at her bank last year, she said the person on the other end of the phone had so much information about her accounts she thought the call had to be real.
“He was able to list my name, my bank account info, he was able to tell me how much I had on my credit card. So I really believed it was TD Bank,” Amanda Law of Stoney Creek, Ont. told CTV News Toronto.
The caller said her account had been compromised and that she needed to transfer money out of it to protect her money, Law recalls.
“The caller said the fraudsters were TD employees hacking the account,” said Law who added, “I was panicking. He knew the branch number, he knew my address. He seemed to know everything which is why I fell into it.”
Law was told to take money out of her account and transfer it using a bitcoin machine which they directed her to go to. In total, she lost $12,000 to the scam.
When Law reached out to TD Bank about the loss, the bank sent her correspondence that said: “The individual responsible had access to your financial information. You are responsible for protecting it under terms in your agreement. Your request for reimbursement has been declined.”
A spokesperson for TD Bank also told CTV News Toronto, “While we cannot speak on details of any customer case, I can confirm this case is still being investigated by our fraud team. Each customer circumstance is different and assessed accordingly.”
Rich Quattrocchi is the vice president of digital transformation at Mutare Software, a company that created a voice traffic filter to stop scam phone calls for businesses to help reduce cybersecurity risks. He suspects that Law’s information was likely stolen off the web or scraped from social media and used to convince her it was her bank calling.
“It’s more than likely her information was sold on the dark web so they know her name, the bank she is using, her whole life story,” Quattrocchi said. “There are different type of scams, but the financial scam is one of the biggest ones happening now where they have you moving money around and transferring money.”
To avoid so-called vishing scams, be suspicious of callers wanting sensitive information and be wary of calls that are unknown or automated. Beware of threatening scare tactics and if someone claims to be with your bank, hang up and call back using the bank’s public phone number.
Meanwhile, Law said she feels the bank should refund the money she was scammed out of and worries about what the future holds.
“I feel we should at least get back part of the money. I’m now terrified to use apps. I’m terrified to open emails, I’m terrified to click on anything” she said.
To stop scam callers you can also download apps that will block spam and unwanted robo calls. According to Technology Analyst Carmi Levy, some notable titles in this category include Robo Shield, Truecaller, Hiya, Call Control, and RoboKiller.
Some of the apps are free and some you pay for, but none will completely stop every call so you still have to be on guard.
This article was originally sourced from www.CTVNews.ca