PHOENIX — In the middle of her living room, a Phoenix woman watched as a scammer took thousands of dollars from her bank account.
"They were like Christmas shopping," Joyce Corrales told 12News.
It was last week when Corrales said she received a call from her stepdaughter asking Corrales for $60. On that same phone line was someone claiming to be with Cash App. Corrales had just received her monthly social security check and was willing to help her family member.
"That 60 bucks cost me $2,130," Corrales said.
The so-called Cash App worker asked Corrales to send that $60 multiple times, telling her it was just a test and the money was not actually being taken from her account.
That wasn't the case.
"I said, 'I'm not doing this again,' then he hung up on us," she said.
Minutes passed, and then Corrales received a phone call from another person claiming to be with Cash App telling her she was just scammed and they would get her money back.
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She would soon learn this would be another lie.
“The red flags were going up, but in the back of my mind, I still want to believe that I was talking to Cash App," Corrales said.
The scammer told her to download an app that would let him take control of her smartphone remotely. Asking for her passcode, Corrales gave him the number.
“I am watching it happen in front of me,” Corrales recalls. “He was moving around in my account to the point where I literally could not stop him.”
The person then accessed her Chime app with her banking information. Corrales then recognized what was happening.
“I start crying," Corrales said as the scammer tries to convince her everything is okay. "He's like, 'Ma'am; please don't cry... We're not trying to take your money.”
Telling her this while she is watching in real-time. The scammer transferred the money to a Hotmail email address and hung up. Money used for her rent, groceries, and bills was all gone.
"Within an hour, and I was broke," Corrales said.
Corrales said she called the Phoenix Police Department and filed a complaint with the Attorney General's Office. She also said when she reached out to her bank to report the scam, she was told there was nothing they could do.
"They told me no because I did it," Corrales said.
12News reached out to Chime about the situation. A spokesperson sent us the following statement:
"We take matters very seriously and acknowledge how harmful scams like these can be for our members. As with all P2P transfers, it is not possible to cancel a payment after it has been initiated as the funds are available to the recipient right away. To provide an extra level of support, Chime has resources available on our blog that offer tips for protecting against potential fraud and scams.” - Chime spokesperson
A few hours after speaking with Corrales, she called 12News and said that Chime did get ahold of her and gave her a temporary credit for the amount taken as they investigate what happened. Chime said they take the privacy of their members seriously and cannot share additional details.
Cash App is also aware of this type of scam. On its website, it said Cash App workers would never ask a customer for their pin number or banking account information. It also said they would never ask people to download a remote access app or complete a test transaction of any kind, like what happened to Corrales.
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