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Scammers Defrauded Retired Couple of Thousands of Dollars Over Just One Phone Call

The caller, who sounded professional, mentioned that the conversation would be taped for training.
Cover Image Source: Scammers target elderly Duluth couple (representative image) | Photo by Vlada Karpovich | Pexels
Cover Image Source: Scammers target elderly Duluth couple (representative image) | Photo by Vlada Karpovich | Pexels

A Duluth couple's entire world was turned around by one phone call. Scammers stole all of their hard-earned money. The most detrimental aspect? They didn't even exchange private information like social security numbers or passwords. The Mosses had previously brought up their children and watched their grandchildren grow up. This happened just as they were beginning to enjoy their retirement. That someone could simply take their money in such a way is sad.

Image Source: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio |  Pexels
Scams targeting seniors (representative image) | Photo by Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels

"They took it," Gloria Moss said, sitting in her cozy dining room. The "they" she's talking about are strangers. Gloria and Gary Moss shared with the FOX 5 I-Team, local police, and fraud investigators that people pretending to be Chase Bank employees took $49,000 from them in less than half an hour. It all started with a familiar scenario: a fraud alert that seemed to come from their bank. "On February 16, 2024, I got two texts claiming to be from Chase’s fraud department," Gloria Moss remembered, "saying my husband’s debit card was compromised." She didn't panic because the scam texts came from the same short code - those six numbers at the top of the text page - as her real Chase Bank messages.

"I know better than to click on any links, so I decided to call the number," she explained. The caller, who sounded professional, mentioned that the conversation would be taped for training. They notified Moss that a business in multiple states had charged over $4,000 using her husband's debit card number. They were going to deactivate the card they thought had been duplicated to protect her.

"Then, they said they needed to send a code to my phone to confirm it was really me," she added. They weren't alarmed by it because Chase had previously sent fraud notifications of a similar nature. Gary once used his card to pay less than $100 for chocolate-covered strawberries while he was in California, and the bank called to make sure it wasn't a fraud.

"I was trying to surprise her," Gary Moss chuckled. "And they called her to check if it was legit."They weren't upset that their surprise was spoilt, though. They valued the bank's attention to detail. However, they were ill-prepared for the bank's next surprise. Fraudsters took all of their $49,000 in savings.

Image Source: Photo by Kampus Production | Pexels
Fake calls (representative image) Photo by Kampus Production | Pexels

Let's rewind to the phone call that started it all. Dana Fowle from the I-Team asked Moss if she gave out her social security number, account number, passwords, or security code answer. Each time, she answered with a firm "No." The scammers claimed they were deactivating her card and sending her a new one. "I was on the phone with them for about 20 minutes," she recalled. "They kept putting me on hold, but it turns out they were actually emptying our account." It wasn't until later that afternoon that the couple realized they'd fallen victim to a scam. "I got five emails that I thought were from Chase. But later, Chase told me they weren't," Gloria Moss explained.

Gloria Moss expressed her surprise at hearing about this development from Chase after months of conversations with their representatives. "We had no clue about any of this until now," she shared.

Image Source: Photo by Karolina Grabowska | Pexels
Scams targeting seniors (representative image) Photo by Karolina Grabowska | Pexels

The exact chain of events remains unclear. In an email to the I-Team, Chase cautioned about "spoof" call scams, emphasizing that even if the caller ID appears to be from Chase, it could still be a scam. The advice was clear: When in doubt, hang up and call Chase directly. After struggling for months to handle the fraud themselves, the Gwinnett Police Department has started an investigation to uncover how someone gained access to their cell phone. "People really need to be cautious," Gloria Moss emphasized.

She mentioned to the I-Team that if she could prove her phone was hacked, her Chase representative indicated they would reconsider her case. However, Chase declined to comment on this. The I-Team will continue to investigate their situation.