Warning issued after reports of scammers pretending to be banks, BBB

Posted at 5:00 AM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 07:05:03-05

(WXYZ) — When your phone rings and the person on the other end of the line claims they want to help you because you've been hacked – beware.

Scammers are posing as trusted resources in your community, and one woman from Inkster is sharing her experience in hopes to help others.

On Jan. 30, Dwendolyn Crawford-Greene got a call that showed up on her cell phone as a bank. They told her she was hacked for $4,500.

She noticed that same day that her checking account was missing about $3,000, so even though the amount didn't match up, he had her attention. The man said he'd call her back on an encrypted line, so he rang her again.

"He was saying, 'I need take out all the rest of your money. And we’re going to open up another account for you.' I said, ‘Let me speak to your supervisor,'" she said.

She was transferred to another person. That's when she informed him she'd be contacted her bank.

"They got upset and said, ‘You don’t need to call them.’ I said, ‘Why are you talking to me like that? You’re supposed to be professional,'" she said.

She hunt up, but they kept calling her back. She filed a police report, but they said there was nothing they can do.

Fast forward to Feb. 9 and a call popped up on her phone identified as the "BBB," which is the Better Business Bureau.

That time, they said her account was hacked and the BBB had to refund the money that was taken. She looked up the local BBB's phone number and found out that caller was also a scam.

“They’re using our name to try and take advantage of people, which is unfortunate, especially because we do the opposite – we try to prevent people from being scammed," Ashley Gibbard, the marketing manager for the BBB of Southeastern Michigan, said.

Gibbard said the BBB received four complaints in one week this month from consumers who received bogus calls from the bureau.

"We’re a database, a resource, if you have an issue with a business and you’re doing your research or anything like that. We do not take money in any fashion from consumers," Gibbard said.

So what should you do if you receive a call like this from an institution you're familiar with? Hang up, then look up the number yourself and call them directly to see if they tried to reach out. In most cases, it's going to be a scam.

It's also important to report what happened to the BBB's scam tracker so they can see trends like this in real time.

Some other scams that are going around right now are sweepstakes scams and phony tax preparers.