Scam victim hopes her story will keep others from the same fate

A Maryland woman had her bank account wiped clean Tuesday, all because of a scam. She shared her story with WBAL-TV 11 News as a warning for others.It started with a phone call from someone who said they were with Amazon, and then spiraled into claims of identity theft.”He had me so scared that I felt like I was at gunpoint,” scam victim Patricia Brocato said. Tuesday, Brocato was told she had a $1,500 charge for a mac computer on her Amazon account. That call transferred to her bank and then to the Social Security Administration, or so she thought.”You needed to take all your money out of your accounts because everything is tied to your Social Security number,” Brocato said. That’s just what she did. Brocato was then instructed not to tell anyone and go put that money on gift cards with $500 on each.”I said, ‘You know I was crying,’ and he’s like ‘don’t worry about that, you’ll get all your money back,'” Brocato said. The Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland said no legitimate vendor is ever going to use a gift card.”Once you read off those numbers, the scammer has that money and it’s gone. You can’t do anything about it,” Angie Barnett, BBB of Greater Maryland president and CEO, said.On Wednesday, the scammers called their victim back, this time, they were after her 401(k). Brocato didn’t fall for it again. She reported it to the police after finding out all the money she just put on these gift cards was gone.Those with the BBB tell me one of the top ways scam artists try to get money from you and through all these gift cards, so remember, gift cards are only for gifts, and that’s it.

A Maryland woman had her bank account wiped clean Tuesday, all because of a scam. She shared her story with WBAL-TV 11 News as a warning for others.

It started with a phone call from someone who said they were with Amazon, and then spiraled into claims of identity theft.

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“He had me so scared that I felt like I was at gunpoint,” scam victim Patricia Brocato said.

Tuesday, Brocato was told she had a $1,500 charge for a mac computer on her Amazon account. That call transferred to her bank and then to the Social Security Administration, or so she thought.

“You needed to take all your money out of your accounts because everything is tied to your Social Security number,” Brocato said.

That’s just what she did. Brocato was then instructed not to tell anyone and go put that money on gift cards with $500 on each.

“I said, ‘You know I was crying,’ and he’s like ‘don’t worry about that, you’ll get all your money back,'” Brocato said.

The Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland said no legitimate vendor is ever going to use a gift card.

“Once you read off those numbers, the scammer has that money and it’s gone. You can’t do anything about it,” Angie Barnett, BBB of Greater Maryland president and CEO, said.

On Wednesday, the scammers called their victim back, this time, they were after her 401(k). Brocato didn’t fall for it again. She reported it to the police after finding out all the money she just put on these gift cards was gone.

Those with the BBB tell me one of the top ways scam artists try to get money from you and through all these gift cards, so remember, gift cards are only for gifts, and that’s it.

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