Atlanta woman warns of ‘cyber assault’ using payment app

An Atlanta woman is warning people about an app many people use daily that opens doors to your finances that you might not even have thought of.

Cyber ​​aggression. This is how Carly Miller described to the FOX 5 I-Team what happened to her. She’s a tech-savvy 20-year-old who almost got caught for all her money.

“He was sitting here on these steps, and I was, like, sitting here in my car,” she said.

On a street near Atlantic Station, Miller had been visiting friends. It was daylight, around 5 p.m.

“A man came up to my driver’s seat window, asked if he could borrow my phone, said he couldn’t come into his apartment. said Miller.

She was smart enough not to give out her phone. Instead, she dialed the number for him and put him on speakerphone.

“He said something like, ‘I’m outside. Can you let me in?’ And she mumbled something and said, “Text that person instead,” she said.

She had a decision to make now. Does she hand him the phone? It was daylight. The street was busy. People were walking their dogs.

“I didn’t feel like anything was going to happen. I didn’t hesitate. I was, like, sure, sure,” she said.

After about a minute, he returned the phone.

“He said, ‘If anyone answers, tell them I’m waiting outside by the brick. “”

And he was sitting there on the wall by the door as she walked away.

“So I just turned on my music. I’m pretty sure it was Taylor Swift, and I screwed that up, and went home. I’m like life is good. I’m helping this nobody,” she said. .

In a report she later filed with Atlanta police, Miller said she went home and received an email from her bank. Someone had attempted to debit $4,200 from his Venmo account at 5 p.m.

“I immediately realized what had happened. I freaked out. I called my dad first. I call my dad for everything,” Miller said.

The police report shows that this whole event recorded on his smartphone took no more than four minutes. Quickly, she canceled her cards associated with her checking account and changed her passwords.

“Then I went into Venmo. And as soon as I opened Venmo, I went, ah! Everything clicked. There was no password on that app. You can just open that app, tap pay or ask, put any number in the world, any amount in the world,” she said.

In Settings, Venmo has security features – like facial recognition and a PIN – but it’s not there by default. You have to add that extra layer of protection yourself. As with any app connected to your financial accounts, make sure it’s locked down. Same double lock.

The FOX 5 I-Team called the two numbers used in this scam. When Dana Fowle identified herself, the woman and the man hung up on me.

In the end, Miller was lucky. She just didn’t have that much money in her checking account, so the would-be thief got nothing. And she learned a lesson.

“I didn’t know how to explain it to my family, but I was the victim of a cyber attack.”


About Donald J. Beadle

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