WYANDOTTE, Mich. – A Downriver man’s checking account was completely wiped out after a phone call with who he thought was a representative of his credit union.
He told Local 4 that it started with a call from what he thought was Zeal Credit Union asking if he was making an $800 purchase in a different state. They then told him his account information had been compromised and helped him change his password and pin, but instead of helping him get out of a scam, they walked him right into theirs.
While on the phone, he pulled into the credit union’s Southgate location, told the teller what was happening and they told him they don’t make those calls. That’s when they discovered the $3,000 he had in his account was gone.
“It’s unfortunate and we know it happens in a lot of industries, we’re certainly not the only one, but when it’s your finances it is scary,” said Maria Haight, Zeal Credit Union chief information officer.
The stressful situation can catch you off guard.
“You can still get something that looks very credible in nature and think immediately ‘I need to respond to this.’ And so you’re clicking on links, calling information. You need to just take one moment and reach out to your financial institution to validate that this is actually something really happening,” said Haight.
Zeal is always trying to educate their customers, but as soon as they received word of this scam, they’ve alerted customers via email, a Facebook and even a ticker on their website.
“We just put out a study recently that the highest age demographic to getting scammed is 25- to 34-year-olds. We’re on the internet more, we give out information more freely, you know we’re on social media, we’re more apt to click on things, “said Ashley Gibbard, marketing coordinator at BBB Serving Eastern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.
The key is to never underestimate the lengths scammers will go to get your money.
“They have the technology to spoof phone numbers, spoof caller IDs, and even if you aren’t on things like social media, chances are there’s something out there about you, what bank you use, what car you drive,” said Gibbard.
The victim did report his loss to Wyandotte police.
Zeal was able to help him get his money back, but said if you’re in a similar situation, you need to contact your bank or credit union as soon as possible.