Woman's bank account wiped out by scammers in growing stimulus scam

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As the latest round of stimulus payments are being issued, scammers are more active than ever. Sure, you know not to answer your phone when an unknown number calls, but what if it pops up as your bank on your caller ID?

That's what happened to one woman who spoke with Eyewitness News.

"I started getting suspicious, but I was looking at the phone and it said Capital One," Jennifer Gray said.

She said the so-called bank was calling her to report fraudulent activity on her account.

"Again, you think you are stopping something from happening and I was stressed out. My bank account got zeroed out real quick when they got what they wanted," Gray said.

Her most recent paycheck and stimulus payment were both stolen from her account. The Houston Better Business Bureau said the scam works in two ways: They're calling from what seems to be a trusted number, and they scare people by saying someone is trying to access their account and urges them to act fast.

"We are seeing a lot of people contacting us saying they are getting these types of calls," said Leah Napoliello with the Better Business Bureau. "You can just let it go to voicemail, go back to your bank statements, and contact your bank that way."

Watch out for red flags

"They shouldn't be asking for things like your password, your pin number, all that very private sensitive information. They should already have that," Napoliello said. "They also shouldn't ask for your social security number."

Eyewitness News reached out to Capital One but has not received a response. Gray said she called ABC13 hoping to get the word out about this scam.

"It's embarrassing, but I just don't want it happening to anyone else," she said.

Follow Brhe Berry on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.