Scammer wipes local woman’s account after posing as Redstone Federal Credit Union, authorities investigate

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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- Imagine this: you look at your bank account and all of your money is gone. For a Redstone Federal Credit Union Customer, that was a reality. Guntersville Police investigators say it's the work of a scammer.

Gail Gibbs' work day in Guntersville started off like it always does. Then it took a turn with a phone call. "It was my cell phone that rang so it was personal. It was a phone call from the 800 number from Redstone," she explained.

The caller said her card was compromised. "As the conversation went on, I mean, they knew all of my information," Gibbs said, "They knew my name, my address, my date of birth, they knew everything you'd possibly know about a person."

Including her entire debit card number. The caller asked for the security code on the back, and because everything seemed legitimate, Gibbs gave it to him. "Then 30 minutes to an hour later my checking account was wiped out," Gibbs said.

"Your heart sinks, you're devastated. You just say how do we fix it."

Gibbs called Redstone Federal Credit Union. An employee told her they didn't call her. It was a scam.

"Once they get that three digit security code off the back of your card, at that time they forge another card," said Guntersville Police investigator Mike Turner. He added the scammer does a balance check, and then makes a transaction that wipes the account of money.

Turner is working closely with bank officials. "This is the only case that we have here, but after talking to the investigators with the bank, there are over 100 cases similar to this case that they're actually working," Turner added.

Investigators traced the transaction that wiped Gibbs' account clean to Broward County, Florida. Investigators are working with law enforcement officials there. Officials traced transactions from Florida to Georgia and Alabama.

"We want to get this out to the public and let them know, 'hey, if you receive this phone call, do not verify anything'," Turner said.

The credit union got Gibbs' money back, but the situation was a heart stopping nightmare; the product of a scammer who managed to get personal information and use it. "If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone," Gibbs said.

On their website, RFCU reminds customers that they will never call to verify credit/debit card or CVV number(s). If you receive such a call, please call 800-234-1234 to verify its authenticity.

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