Denver woman, 74, who lost her life savings in elaborate Social Security scam reveals how she was duped to stop others from falling victim
- ‘Terry’ lost her entire life savings – an amount of $75,000 to a phone call scam
- The defrauder posed as a government employee and said her bank accounts were compromised
- He convinced her to move her money from her Wells Fargo accounts to Bitcoin
A 74-year-old Denver woman was duped of thousands of dollars in an elaborate Social Security-Bitcoin scam.
Terry claims she lost her entire life savings – an amount of $75,000 to a phone call scam after a swindler made her believe that her bank accounts were compromised.
The caller identified himself as an employee with the Federal Trade Commission and began to recite her personal information, including her Social Security number, the victim told 9News.
Once the scammer convinced Terry that he was an actual employee with the FTC, he began to tell her that her bank accounts were compromised and needed to be emptied.
The fraudster successfully persuaded Terry into emptying her Wells Fargo accounts and depositing the cash at Bitcoin ATMs.
But all was lost as soon as the victim shared the unique numbers tied to her Bitcoin funds and the money she had spent her entire life saving vanished into thin air.
Terry lost her entire life savings – an amount of $75,000 to a phone call scam after the caller made her believe that her bank accounts were compromised
The defrauder successfully persuaded Terry into emptying her Wells Fargo accounts and depositing the cash at Bitcoin ATMs
‘I felt empty. And I don’t know. Maybe you can use the word “abused”?,’ said the victim
The victim told the channel about the scam’s impact on her life: ‘I felt empty. And I don’t know. Maybe you can use the word “abused”?
‘I am not going to the grocery store but once a month. If I run out of food, I run out of food.
A Wells Fargo spokesperson said ‘it would take a few business days to look into the situation and expected an investigation to be wrapped up by early next week’
‘I don’t go places. I don’t do things.’
Ultimately, her financial advisor told her she was being conned when she attempted to empty her retirement account and saved her from further loss.
The Social Security Administration explains that fraudsters tend to use legitimate names of Office of Inspector General or SSA employees, spoof official government phone numbers or even numbers for local police departments to scam people.
The government body advises to remain calm, be skeptical, always look out for red flags or simply ignore the call to avoid losing money.
According to a report by Hiya, the average American mobile phone user received approximately 14 spam calls per month. In the US alone, $1.4 billion was lost to cryptocurrency scams in 2022.
Some of the more common forms of trickery include romance scams, insurance scams, credit card scams and Medicare scams.