News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, March 28, 2014
BEECH ISLAND, S.C. (WRDW) -- A local college student got some revenge after the man who scammed him twice, called back a third time.
Jake Corbin said it started after he went online to apply for some loans and grants. When it was all over, he lost nearly all of his savings.
A total of $5,000.
Corbin said the scammer was far from being a rookie.
"The other day online I was looking for grants, scholarships even possibly loans if it came to that," said Corbin.
The next day, the 19 year-old said he received a call about one of his online requests. The civil engineering major answered the call.
"He said would you like to apply for that $10,000 scholarship. I said sure that would be great," said Corbin.
He said the man claimed to be with a federal grant program and that Corbin qualified for a $10,000 grant. Corbin just needed to pay an application fee.
"He said well go to the bank get $1,000 cash. He said this is how grants work. The government has to see that you have at least 10 percent of what you are applying for," said Corbin.
Corbin did, loading a grand on a Green Dot Money Pak and as instructed provided the numbers on the back of the card to the caller.
Corbin said the man told him if he could come up with another $4,000 he would qualify for a $50,000 grant instead. Corbin did, buying fourmore Green Dot Money Pak's and loading $1,000 on each one.
"He said alright that $50,000 is going to be in your bank in 15 minutes. And I thought grants don't work like that," said Corbin.
That is when he realized he had been scammed twice for a total of $5,000.
But it was not over yet. Believe it or not, the scammer called back while News 12 was there and Corbin was not falling for it again.
"You are a scam. I checked the cards on every single one of those stupid Money Pak Green Dot cards. They are all zero. What happened to my money," said Corbin.
This time the scammer told Corbin in order to get his $5,000 back he needed to pay the government taxes on the loan first.
"You don't know how much you have hurt a broke college student right now," said Corbin on the phone.
Wishful thinking. We investigated the California number that called Corbin and found a boatload of online complaints that the same number had been used in other scams.
In the end, Corbin admits he has learned a very costly lesson.
"If I could go through the phone right now or teleport to wherever he is there's no telling what I'd do," Corbin said.
The Federal Trade Commission says these kind of scams often operate overseas and they have the technology to spoof your caller ID so that any number shows up.