The incident began innocently enough.
We’d had problems with our cable service in recent weeks. Two visits by repairmen had not solved the issue. I’d registered a complaint with the company and expected a response.
When I answered the phone a man claiming to be a representative for the cable company told me how sorry he was that we’d had so much trouble with our service. He outlined the recent visits to our home and offered us monetary compensation for our trouble. I said that wasn’t necessary. I only wanted the service restored.
He set up a time to work on the service again the next day. Then he repeated the offer of compensation. To access the payment we had to complete the exchange with a debit card. I don’t do online banking but no sooner had I given him my card than he posted my bank’s application form. I should have stopped there. But my red flags didn’t go off warning me.
Numbers I didn’t type appeared on the screen, an error was made, and soon I owed him a refund. He said I’d have to go to the bank and make this right that evening. I said I couldn’t do that. He said he’d call me in the morning before the technician came and help me fix the problem.
Once off the phone it hit me that I had been scammed. I immediately called the bank and changed all the passwords. I also reported the incident to the cable company who referred it to their fraud department.
No appointment happened the next day. The money he’d transferred came out of our savings account and into our checking account. We didn’t lose any money. And as far as I can tell, he didn’t get any, and unless he has a photographic memory he didn’t get any information. But it could have been a lot different.
I thought of the scripture I Peter 5:8: “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” I understood.
Stay alert. I briefly let down my guard and my identity was compromised. The experience left me shaken. Don’t let this happen to you.