CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A disabled veteran turned to FOX 46 for help after she called a phone number thinking she was dialing tech support for Cash App. Instead, she fell for a trap set by scammers.
“Once they get a hold of your login information, it’s off to the races,” said cyber expert Tom Jelneck. “And they can honestly rob you blind.”
This latest scam, which has affected Cash App users across the country, is convincing which makes it so dangerous, Jelneck said.
“This Cash App [scam] is pretty diabolical,” said Jelneck. “Because it looks so legit when people call that number.”
The veteran, who did not want to go on camera, said she called found a phone number online that was advertised as a “Cash App Help Line” and “Cash App Customer Service.”
It turns out the number was set up by scammers. They asked for her login information to diagnose a ‘problem.’ Then they wired $1,999 from her account.
The victim, who is trying to get her money back through her bank and Cash App, described the ordeal as “traumatic.” FOX 46 reached out to Cash App for comment but did not hear back.
As more people work from home, scammers are taking advantage. The Better Business Bureau and North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein both report an increase in these “tech support” scams.
“When something bad goes wrong you’re more desperate,” said Stein. “You’re more in need. And that’s when these scammers will strike. They present they have some solution for you when really they’re just trying to steal your money.”
In other cases, scammers call pretending to be from a computer company offering to remotely fix your device. These scams often originate from overseas, Stein said, making them tough to trace and even harder to stop.
“It’s super difficult to get your money back if these scammers get your money,” Stein said.
“Is there anything your office can do to help or get involved?,” asked FOX 46 investigative reporter Matt Grant.
“Well, if we can find out where the perpetrator is,” said Stein, “then, yes, we can go after them.”
Most apps, like Cash App, handle customer support online. Experts say you should:
- Reach out to customer support directly through the company’s website or app.
- Never give out personal information over the phone unless you know “100 percent” who is on the other end.
“We are seeing this more and more,” said Tom Bartholomy, the president of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Piedmont and Western North Carolina. “Usually when folks are searching for a customer service number they will take the first one they say…it’s even happened to me. Then you make the call and soon figure out that I’m not talking to who I thought I was.”
Last year, FOX 46 reported on a different cash app scam targeting the Charlotte area. Thieves approached people asking to borrow their phone to make a quick call. Instead, they wired themselves thousands of dollars from the victim’s Cash App, PayPal or Venmo accounts.