‘Totally violated’: SWFL woman scammed by thieves posing as her bank

Reporter: Taylor Petras
Published: Updated:

Scammers are going the extra mile to steal your money.

A Fort Myers woman says she received a call from her bank, alerting her that she was the victim of a scam. But it turns out, it wasn’t her bank that was calling at all.

“People are out there to scam you. They hack everything,” said the victim, who didn’t want her name used. “I am without money right now because they did this.”

The victim says the first call came last Friday when someone pretending to be with her bank’s fraud department asked her for information about her account because of suspicious transactions.

“I was like ‘oh my God, well thank God you called me.’ You know, I’m thinking they are the true fraud department and I’m glad they were on the ball. They were on the ball but they were the thieves,” she said.

The scammers then quickly racked up $1,200 at a grocery store in Miami using the victim’s stolen information. And then it happened again four days later.

“They said there were more transactions and that this time it was on my husband’s card and they wanted the card verified,” the victim said.

After that call, the thieves stole another $3,200. That’s when the victim started to realize something wasn’t right.

“Totally violated. I mean you work hard for your money and people are scamming you,” she said.

The victim then closed down her bank account and called police in Fort Myers and Miami who told her this scam actually happens a lot.

“This is the first time they’ve heard of that it was actually the fraud department being mimicked,” she said.

And now, the victim just wants others to avoid falling into their trap the way she did.

“Just be aware that these people are out there and don’t trust anyone,” she warned.

The woman also says the scammers called her on a restricted number. Fort Myers Police add that if you get an unexpected call from the bank, ask for the caller’s name and then call the bank yourself.


  • If you get a call from someone claiming to be your credit card company asking for personal information, politely tell the caller you’re hanging up and calling a number you know.
  • Call the number on the back of your card or customer service listed on the credit/debit card’s website instead, never a number they give you.
  • Don’t give in to pressure to take immediate action.
  • Don’t say anything if a caller starts the call asking, “Can you hear me?” This is a common tactic for scammers to record you saying “yes.” Scammers record your “yes” response to use as proof that you agreed to a purchase or credit card charge.
  • Don’t provide your credit card number, bank account information, or other personal information to a caller.
  • Be cautious of caller ID. Scammers can change the phone number that shows up on your caller ID screen and fake it. This is called “spoofing.”
  • And again, always hang up on suspicious phone calls.

For tips to protect yourself from other common scams visit usa.gov.

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