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Periodic Contributor

One Million Dollars GONE

 From September 9, 2022 until November 11, 2022 I was the victim of hackers and scammers. A PayPal bitcoin charge was emailed to me for $499. David William, PayPal Security PPL147, told me to call the number on the back of my debit card at my bank. I was connected with the fraud investigator, Ethan Smith, at Bank of America. He told me I had been hacked, and that he would help me by securing all my money. At the time, I did not know that Mr. Smith had control of my computer and phone and all the information in my life. He would call me, and the phone would show a Bank of America identification. I found out that this is called spoofing.


These men told me that they believed the hacker was at my bank branch and I had to keep this a secret .I was also to follow all of their directions as my children and family “were at risk.” The stress exacerbated my multiple sclerosis. Over the course of two months they emptied my bank accounts and walked away with one million dollars. There were even times when they told me to place money in crypto machines to keep it secured. They even created a bank account in my name where they perpetrated what seemed to be a shell game. Of course that transaction had my IP address-it was done from my computer.


PayPal has sent me to collection as it looks like charges made and paid for with my bank account were made by me since they had my bank account information.


The police gave me a case number but refused to give me a report. I made a report to the FTC, FBI, and several other agencies including the secret service. I am embarrassed, feel utterly stupid, and spend my days crying. I have found out there was so much that I didn’t know that I should have known. I try not to go out because I still wonder if I am being followed as the hackers suggested. My service dog feels my stress and with all the paperwork and changing of passwords and trying to write notes attached to other notes, I find myself unable to focus.


In the midst of this, Hurricane Ian took my fence, my roof, and more, but the house is intact so I suppose I am luckier than others. I tried to find a lawyer who would help me pursue the banks to help them understand I was hacked and scammed, but that seems to be a dead end. The problem is that there are so many people like me who don’t know what they don’t know.


I am not looking for pity, but for any avenues I have not pursued or anyone who knows where I can find help. I am learning...I can make four meals out of one pack of hot dogs.

Social Butterfly


An interesting, discouraging situation. I don't have much to offer at the moment that would be of concrete help. 


Two points though:



@MerleK906219 wrote:

"told me to call the number on the back of my debit card at my bank."

Did you actually call the number on the back of the debit card? Or did you get a number by an internet search or accepting what "PayPal" gave you?

Because if you called the number on the card I don't understand how that could have been re-directed to the scammers. Unless they actually switched out your real card for another one with the fake number (I find this really a stretch) or they somehow were able to redirect phone calls made from your line (another stretch but maybe not quite as big, the technology to do this sort of work would likely be beyond most hackers other than the FBI and other 3 letter agencies).


If it's actually so that you called the number on card then this should be of interest to police agencies because it would indicate either of the two extreme situations described above. This would be no garden variety scam.


@MerleK906219 wrote:

"In the midst of this, Hurricane Ian took my fence, my roof, and more, but the house is intact so I suppose I am luckier than others.

You have my sympathies on the hurricane. I've lived in both Texas and Florida and have had experience with hurricanes. Even having had to evacuate for 2 of them. Cleaning up afterwards is no fun at all, I know. Especially if the power and water stays out for a lengthy of time afterwards.


Hey all, jumping in here. @fffred  in answer to your question, and advice to everyone.


The scammers tell you they are going to hang up, and for you to dial the 1-800 number on the back of the card. 


Then they play a dial tone, but in reality they have NOT hung up the phone,  and any number you type in are just "noise" and typically they will make the victim think they have connected with a "fraud department".


They make it look like you have connected to the correct number, but in fact you haven't.


Lastly, never let anyone tell you to install a program on your phone or PC to help with your "refund". hang up, and ring your own bank


Telephone Scams: Your Credit Card was Used in Fraudulent Activities 


Hope this helps. Stay Safe



Periodic Contributor

Yes, Thanks- I saw the link- I was looking for more than one site that would validate the fact that I DID CALL THE BANK. I sent the above answer to the agencies doubting this can be done---that being-when YOU call the bank and the call is intercepted.

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Periodic Contributor

The agents with whom I am dealing, have never heard of this ability to spoof a bank phone number. I hung up with the fake paypal number and called Bank of America using the number on the back of my debit card. Somehow the call was intercepted but the Secret Service agent and Major Crimes have can't find information on how this is done! They need to explain this in their reports. How do you know this and is this info available on an internet site?

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Honored Social Butterfly

@MerleK906219 wrote:

How do you know this and is this info available on an internet site?

Underbat gave a link to the info in the post to which you are replying - See it?

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Periodic Contributor

I am sitting at Bank of America right now. Yes I did call the number on the back of the card. I did not use Google and I did not look it up anywhere else. I just took my card out of my wallet and turned it over. One banker did tell me that this is a new spoof they are doing. Secret service is looking into it and the bank is looking into it but that doesn’t help me get my money back. I was doing this to help my children by securing my money because they kept reminding me my children would be at risk. I didn’t know what type of risk, but it was enough to scare me. they knew where I lived and then you were my children and it’s not hard to find on the Internet.

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