We share these true stories of member experiences to help you avoid falling victim to a scam. If you ever have questions about the validity of a request for money or information about your account, contact us.
When looking for love and friendship online, beware of trolls looking to take advantage of you to help carry out crimes. Think it couldn’t happen to you? You might be surprised! Read this true, cautionary tale:
After many years of being single, Michael opened an online dating account and met Joanna, a friendly and smart chef in another state. She shared his love of food, football, and movies, and he grew to care for her as a friend.
One day, during a conversation, Joanna asked Michael if he could do her a favor. She had been furloughed from her job at the restaurant during the pandemic and qualified for unemployment, but her account had been hacked. While her account was being sorted out, she asked Michael – her trusted friend – if she could have her unemployment money sent to his account instead. Michael agreed and gave her his account information.
Soon after, Michael saw an unemployment deposit arrive in his account. Eager to help his friend, he contacted Joanna to let her know the funds had arrived. She thanked him and asked him to use a cash app to send her the money quickly so she could shop for groceries and pay bills. Michael followed her instructions and sent the funds.
Unfortunately, Michael has unknowingly helped a criminal carry out a crime. “Joanna” is actually Bobby Romeo, an online con artist who stole the identity of the real Joanna, a schoolteacher in Ohio. Criminals have used this scam to steal billions of dollars of taxpayer money. Please keep your account information private and if ever in doubt, contact us for help. Visit our Security page for more tips on keeping your accounts secure.