A local college student tells NBC10 she learned a tough lesson outside the classroom. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The 18-year-old woman, who did not want to be identified, says it all began when she received a message from a friend on Facebook claiming to know someone named “Rob” who worked for TD Bank. The woman claims “Rob” told her she could make fast cash through a new program offered by the bank.
“He said that TD Bank had started a money transfer program and you could get $800 for signing up,” said the woman.
While investigators say her friend’s Facebook Page had been hacked, the woman had no idea and made plans to meet up with the man she thought was a TD Bank employee. She agreed to give him her debit card and pin number in exchange for $800.
“What makes you give someone your Debit card and your pin number?” asked NBC10’s Daralene Jones. “Some people don’t even give their spouses that kind of information.”
“I was being real gullible I guess,” said the woman, who planned to use the money to help pay her college tuition.
The woman told NBC10 that money started disappearing from her account until it was completely gone soon after she gave up her information. She then says she was contacted on Facebook by someone named “Ken” who allegedly tried to run the same exact scheme on her.
Having learned her lesson, the woman alerted police and then agreed to meet “Ken” at a 7-Eleven on Main Street in Darby. Police were at the scene when “Ken,” who investigators identified as 29-year-old Malik McDowell, arrived. He was arrested and charged with identity theft, forgery and other related offenses. But police fear the story doesn’t end with him.
“We believe there are more people out there that are victims and others who are involved in this ring,” said Darby Police Chief Robert Smythe.
Chief Smythe also tells NBC10 he believes there are victims in the Philadelphia area. The investigation continues.