DAVIS (CBS13) — A college student from Davis said someone demanded her bank account information, or they’d ruin her online reputation.
Chole Deemer is an athlete, her reputation is important to her. But with just $30 in the bank, she gave the scammer her bank information, and then the threats got scarier.
The 19-year-old music major is on a full-ride scholarship for field hockey. Deemer got an Instagram direct message from a stranger saying he knew her name, number, address, and other personal information. He wanted her bank information or else he’d ruin her online reputation.
“He could make me look like I did something bad,”‘ Deemer said.
Knowing she only had $30 in her account, Deemer reluctantly messaged her bank information through direct message.
She said the scammer used her credit union’s app to mobile deposit two checks, saying she had to use that money to buy $3,000 in gift cards, or they would show up to her house.
“They said they’d send people, ‘We have people all over. You need to do this. You don’t want to hear about the last person who didn’t do this,'” Deemer said.
Scared, she bought the gift cards and told him the numbers off the back of the cards, only to learn the checks deposited in her account were scam checks.
“I feel so dumb,” Deemer said.
Now her credit union wants the $3,000 she spent on those cards back. At one point, the credit union said they could prosecute her.
The Better Business Bureau’s Danielle Hale calls these types of scams digital hostage situations.
“They claim to have pictures of videos of you, something that can destroy your reputation,” Hale said. “Once you send money this way, it’s nearly impossible to get it back.”
Often the information the scammers know about you is easy to find through a Google search or on your social media account, which Deemer kept public.
Today, her eyes are a bit more open.
“Hopefully someone hears this and they don’t do what I did,” Deemer said.
She’s now changed her accounts to private.
Deemer also filed a police report about the incident.