It’s not uncommon to hear stories about people who were swindled out of millions or even hundreds of thousands of dollars by shady lenders, credit card companies, and online credit providers.
But it can also be extremely dangerous to lose a life savings in a financial scam.
That’s exactly what happened to a 22-year-old man in Illinois who, according to his family, was the victim of a “scam of the century” in which he was duped out of nearly $20,000.
According to his mother, Kristin, the scam began in January of this year when she received an email from a company called The Financial Advisor.
The email promised to “unlock” her account with a new credit score.
The scammer also offered to provide Kristin with a “free” credit report that would help her assess her creditworthiness.
Kristin said that the email was signed by a fake account holder.
After receiving the email, Kristi contacted her bank, and they confirmed that the scammer was in fact the account holder, according the Associated Press.
The Associated Press reports that Kristin’s account had a negative balance of $15,500 at the time of her initial contact.
According to Kristi, when she called her bank on February 7 to cancel the balance, the representative said that they couldn’t cancel her account because she was still “not a bank customer” and that she needed to send in the credit report.
Kristi said she called the company again on February 10, but the rep was nowhere to be found.
She said she went to her local police department and phoned the FBI, who eventually contacted her local authorities and arrested the person responsible for the fraud.
Kristin said she was not aware of any other victims of this fraud.
She also told the AP that she plans to pursue legal action against the company.
“I’m not going to allow a company to be able to keep their identity secret,” she said.
According the AP, the FBI said that it has received a number of complaints about the same scam from individuals across the country.
The FBI has received at least 12 reports of fraud involving credit card fraud in Illinois, and it has already issued a warning to credit card issuers and financial institutions.