Local woman speaks out after falling victim to a scam call that spoofed her banks phone number

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A mother and daughter duo in New Hanover County are speaking out after falling victim to a scam after receiving a phone call from what was thought to be their bank.

Scam victim Caitlin Montgomery and her mother Kathy Boyhan, say they are working to try to get Caitlin’s money back after losing $2,000 to a scam caller pretending to be her bank.

“I got a text message from Chase Bank, saying someone was trying to use my account, do I approve of this, and I said no, and then as soon as I sent that text, Chase Bank popped up on my phone and called, and someone said that they were Chase Bank, and that I was having fraudulent activity,” said Caitlin Montgomery, scam victim.

Caitlin Montgomery says she has banked with JPMorgan Chase Bank for over a decade, and didn’t question the phone call she received on October 4.  She says she received the call when preparing her baby for bed.

“They said that someone was trying to take out $2,000, as we were speaking on the phone, they were successful and we needed to reverse the charged,”said Montgomery. So, he walked me through that process, while I was on the phone.”

She said the caller instructed her to use Zelle, a program that allows cash transfers, which many major banks include in their apps.

“I had never heard of Zelle, I don’t really use Zelle, but I didn’t even think twice about it because it was in Chase app,” said Montgomery.

Montgomery says she called her bank the next day to confirm the issue had been fixed, but was told she had been a victim of fraud.

While on the phone with JPMorgan Chase, the scammer called her once again spoofing the bank’s phone number, and she was able to document the call and filed a fraud claim.

Her mother Kathy Boyhan says she has been working to help her get her money back.

“The claim is not looking good. I have faxed them twice, all of the screenshots of the messages and the emails. Everything, that would point to the fact that Caitlin was truly scammed, and that has made no difference. They send me a stock answer, ‘sorry this happened, you cannot recover your money lost through Zelle,'” said Kathy Boyhan, Montgomery’s mother.

The scam call was reported to the Federal Trade Commission.

New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jerry Brewer says anyone who is a victim to scams is encouraged to report them to law enforcement.

“You should always be able to turn around and contact whatever entity it is. When in doubt, go to the source. When in doubt, if they are claiming to be your bank, call your bank,” said Lt. Jerry Brewer.

The mother and daughter duo want the public to be aware of this possible scam.

“Zelle doesn’t even have a working number, that you can physically call them, for customer service. So, we’re really getting nowhere, and that’s the reason we wanted to reach out, hoping that we can make a difference to help other people, and in fact to get Caitlin’s money back somehow,” said Boyhan.

We reached out to JP Morgan Chase Bank regarding this incident, and they offered tips on how to avoid falling victim to scams involving bank accounts.

Never give out personal or financial information such as your checking account, credit card and Social Security numbers over the phone unless you made the call or you know the person or organization you’re dealing with.

“We won’t ask you for your PIN or password by calling you or by sending you an email. We may ask for this information only when you call us to discuss your account.”

-jpmorgan chase bank

Be careful when you get a phone call from someone who:

  • Threatens to close or suspend your account if you don’t tell them your personal information
  • Tells you your account has been attacked and then asks you to tell them your account or personal information
  • Requires you to give any personal information, such as your user name, password or account number
  • Asks you to confirm, verify or update your account, credit card or billing information

Don’t reply to an email, phone call or text message that does these things:

  • Requires you to give your personal or account information either directly in the email or on a website the email sends you to. Some attackers, for example, use pop-up windows on Web pages to ask for your confidential information.
  • Threatens to close or suspend your account if you don’t take immediate action
  • Invites you to answer a survey that asks you to enter personal or account information
  • Tells you your account has been compromised, then asks you to give or confirm your personal or account information
  • Tells you there are unauthorized charges on your account, then asks you to give your personal or account information
  • Asks you to confirm, verify or update your account, credit card or billing information
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