As further proof that scams are on the rise, one California Wells Fargo customer lost a huge chunk of his nest egg when he was contacted by a scam artist. After being told that $70,000 had been "incorrectly" deposited in his checking account (it had actually been transferred from his own savings account), Marc Beardsley found himself with a $68,000 hole in his retirement savings. (The scam artist let him "keep" $2,000 for his trouble. So considerate.)
The victim's wife, Rosilyn Nesler, said the scammer called and pressured Beardsley into transferring the money. "He was worried," said Nesler. "He did not check the savings account to see that it was actually our money ..."
@abc7newsbayarea A bank transfer scam left a huge hole in a California couple's life savings. In February, Marc Beardsley was tricked into wiring $68,000 of his own money overseas after a large sum of money appeared in his Wells Fargo checking account. #california #ca #scam #scams #scammer #scammers #bank #bankaccount #account #accounts #checkingaccount #savingsaccount #money #wellsfargo #news #fyp #foryoupage #abc7news ♬ original sound - ABC7 News
The victim's son, Tod Beardsley, told ABC7 he would like bank workers to ask a few more questions when customers come into the bank to wire large amounts to overseas accounts they've had no contact with before. Just a few questions, he noted, might have stalled the scam.
"Anytime you can inject a pause into that process, your chances of not getting scammed go way, way up," he told ABC7. "For the frontline bankers who are working in the branches, when you see a customer come in and they're doing something that they have never done before, like ... wire money overseas to a Hong Kong bank, for example, maybe ask a question about it," he said, adding: "Put up just the barest of roadblocks."
The victim, Marc Beardsley, says he probably won't see the money again, as Wells Fargo released a statement noting the bank's workers had correctly followed protocol. But others can learn from his mistake. Before following orders from someone who isn't a bank employee, take a beat and talk to someone who isn't asking you for money.