12 On Your Side: Woman fights back after being targeted by scammers


News 12 at 6 o'clock / Jan. 16, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- "They think Americans have money and Americans work. And then they hear a woman's voice and they say bingo I got a dumb woman," said Margarete Velazquez.

Some scammers got a rude awakening when they tried to con the retired professor.

"It looks totally authentic," said Velazquez.

The email with an upstate New York phone number claimed Velazquez was the beneficiary of a Bank of America account.

Although, because she is a customer she decided to call the bank, where she was able to confirm it was a scam that may have originated in China.

She called the sender to give him three words of advice."You can go to "h" and " hung up," Velazquez said.

It was not over yet. Hours later Velasquez got a call from overseas.

"The reason I accepted this was because I thought it was one of my family members calling me. So I said hello, blah, blah, blah, blah, I said excuse me hello," Velazquez said.

It was not a call from her native Switzerland but from Nigeria. Two scammers in one day. She hung up the phone. We Googled the number and it pulled up an email scam from 2012.

"From Hong Kong first and then from Nigeria, I'm international now," said Velazquez.

While she can laugh about it, others take the bait.

The FBI says in 2011 frauds and scams cost Americans $485 millions and on average some $4,000 per victim.

"I'm sure they made a couple of pennies on someone or they would not continue this," said Velazquez.

She said she hopes others will not fall victim to these scammers and offers some great advice.

"Do a little homework. Tell them you will call them back then go on your computer and if you don't have one, talk to someone that is knowledgeable," Velazquez said.


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