DETROIT (WDIV) – A widow from Detroit says she feels foolish for getting taken in by a scam that cost her $30,000 not long after she lost both her husband and her job.
Christina Ihlenfeldt is the first to admit she made a mistake. Shortly after her husband died, she received an email from what she thought was Best Buy’s Geek Squad. The email said their subscription was being automatically renewed, and not wanting to be charged, Ihlenfedlt called the number listed.
“I’m sorry. I just feel like such a fool for all of this,” Ihlenfedlt said.
The person that Ihlenfeldt called, who turned out to be a scammer, said he’d refund her $300 and asked if her computer was running slow. She ended up giving him remote access to the computer.
“I just thought, ‘OK, he’s gonna look at my computer,’” Ihlenfeldt said. “It never dawned on me.”
The scammer then told Ihlenfeldt he had accidentally refunded her $30,000, saying he’d forgotten to add the decimal point. He asked her to wire the money back.
“As he typed in $300, there was no decimal point. $30,000 had indeed been deposited into my account. What was I to think at that point?” Ihlenfeldt said. “He says, ‘I’m going to get in trouble if the company finds out, so we need to act on this.’ I had just lost my job and was thinking, ‘I don’t want this poor man to lose his job.’”
The grieving grandmother went to her bank and wired the money. She says the man on the phone never dropped the ruse.
“‘Thank you, ma’am, for being so honest. God will bless you. Thank you for helping us to get our money back. We know you’re a widow. We know that this is money that you need,’” Ihlenfeldt said the scammer told her.
Ihlenfeldt is hoping the scammers are caught before someone else is victimized. She has spoken with the FBI and is setting up a police report.
“If you don’t know what’s going on or you feel unsure, most of all, tell your bank when something like this happens. Let them handle it,” Ihlenfeldt said.
Ihlenfeldt’s family set up a GoFundMe to help, which has raised more than $3,500.
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