One San Diego woman's savings — money that had been put aside to help her and her partner start a family — were recently stolen by scammers, but the NBC 7 Responds team was able to make things right.
"We’re actually starting fertility treatment to try and get pregnant," Megan Gardner said. "That’s what we were saving our money for."
Gardner said it was the perfect series of events that got her caught, and it's proof it can happen to anyone.
"I felt pretty dumb, and I think I'm a pretty smart person," Gardner said. "They sounded so official. They said all the right things."
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It all started with a text claiming to be about a delivery. Gardner said she usually wouldn't have given it much thought, but her mother had just told her a package was on its way.
"It was saying, 'We have to reschedule your delivery. Can you give us this information?' " Gardner said. "I was very busy, so I sent it."
After texting her information, including her banking details, Gardner said, she became concerned, so she called Bank of America to freeze her debit card.
"Not five minutes after, I got a call from a Bank of America phone number," Gardner said. "They told me someone had access to my savings account and was trying to Zelle themselves $3,500."
But it wasn't Bank of America calling, just someone who had spoofed the bank's number.
"They said. in order to stop the transfer, I had to reverse Zelle myself the $3,500, which I did," Gardner said.
Following the directions from the fake Bank of America call, she typed her own phone number into the Zelle transfer. That money, however, went to an account with the name Connie attached to it.
Gardner said that after Bank of America denied her fraud claim, saying she had willingly sent the money, she reached out to NBC 7 Responds. We contacted the bank, and the money showed back up in her account.
"Within three days, I had a call back from Bank of America, saying they made a mistake," Gardner said.
In a statement to NBC 7 Responds, Bank of America did not comment on this specific instance but did say:
It’s important to know that banks would not ask a customer to transfer funds between accounts or request sensitive account information. We alert clients during the transaction if they are sending money to a new recipient that they should only send to people they trust and never transfer money as a result of an unexpected call or text. We also send fraud alerts to clients and regularly update a comprehensive online security center with information about avoiding scams.
Gardner said that, now that the money is back, the couple can try to start a family. She said she'll be a little more cautious next time.
"If anyone is rushing you at all, just hang up and call the customer service line," Gardner said.