Bride-to-be says she fell for scam, lost nearly $10,000

MINT HILL, N.C. — A Mint Hill woman who is planning to get married soon wants to make sure no one else falls for a scam that she says cost her close to $10,000.

Lauren Martin is getting married on Sept. 23. The bride-to-be says a scammer called her, spoofing her bank’s phone number.

“She basically said that ‘We’ve noticed that somebody in the country of Colombia is trying to take $7,000 out of your bank account, so we need to secure those funds immediately,’” Martin told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke.

Martin says she believed the caller, who asked her to download an app Stoogenke has reported on before.

The app is called AnyDesk and it helps someone take control of your computer remotely. It’s a real app often used by technology professionals to help solve IT issues, but some scammers use it too.

Martin says she did what she was told and gave the caller remote access to her phone. “She went in there, went to my checking, took out $1,000,” Martin told Stoogenke. “And then went straight to my savings account and took out $8,400.”

She eventually got suspicious and called her bank then realized it was a scam.

“Right then, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ I’m in panic mode at this point,” she said.

Martin says she immediately contacted the police and her bank, Wells Fargo, but she was too late. She says her money was gone. Martin says most of the money came from her parents.

“You’re angry, you’re sad, you’re mad,” she said.

“We’re still going to get married but might have to have other options,” she said.

Stoogenke says banks typically take responsibility if a hacker gets into your account, but not if you voluntarily hand over money, even if you were tricked into it.

Wells Fargo would not replace Martin’s money, but sent Stoogenke a statement saying, “We never want to see anyone become a victim of a scam and are actively working to raise awareness of common scams to help prevent these heartbreaking incidents.”

  • Advice from Action 9 no matter where you bank:
  • Never trust your Caller ID. Scammers can spoof numbers.
  • If a bank sends you a code as part of two-factor authentication, never share that number, which is usually six digits, with anyone.
  • If someone asks you to use an app so they can access your account remotely, it’s not your bank asking. Your bank doesn’t need your help getting into your account.
  • If you’re not sure who is calling you, hang up and call your bank directly.

(VIDEO: Man loses thousands through Cash App after thief steals phone)