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This Wells Fargo User Explained How He Was Almost Scammed Of All His Money

On the Internet, there are a lot of stories about idiot scammers getting messed with by funny people who have a lot of time on their hands. Scammers are stupid and obvious, and they could never possibly take anybody with half a brain in. Um, no. A lot of scams are so good you don’t even know you’re being scammed until it’s too late. There are things you can learn to do to protect yourself better, but sometimes even really smart people come very close to the edge.

Take Cabel Sasser, a tech guy who has even founded a software company, yet he almost gave a scammer her debit card pin code over the phone. He tweeted about the experience on Friday, and you can kind of see how he was almost fooled. It all sounded extremely convincing:

Basically, someone very convincing called him from a number that came up on his phone as the same number associated with the help line on his ATM card. They claimed to be a fraud agent, and that Sasser’s card had been stolen and used at a Target. They wanted to help set him up with a new one. How nice.

The fake agent took him through all the appropriate steps, but then at the end, they asked for his current pin number. Many of us sail through these kinds of interactions while on autopilot, and could easily have just handed it over without thinking, or assuming it was some sort of verification thing. But it made Sasser suspicious because he knew the bank should be able to see his current pin number. When he hung up and called the bank directly, they told him no one had stolen his card, it hadn’t been used at Target, and the whole thing was a dirty, dirty SCAM.

It’s a good lesson, and does offer one solution: always hang up and call back.

Or, never answer the phone at all! What kind of a maniac calls, anyway?