Financial Advice Writer Reveals Being Tricked By A Scam

( – On Feb. 15, New York Magazine financial advice columnist Charlotte Cowles revealed how she was the victim of a scam in which she gave $50,000 to a fake CIA agent.

In her article for New York Magazine’s digital fashion news site, The Cut, Cowles shared her first-person account of the incident. She shared that the scam began Oct. 31, when she received a call from someone who claimed to be from Amazon’s customer service department regarding a charge for $8,000 to her Amazon account for iPads and MacBooks. However, Cowles stated that when she checked her account, there was no record of the purchases. Cowles was then connected to an alleged liaison at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), who the alleged Amazon customer service representative said specialized in fraud cases.

According to her article, the alleged FTC representative told Cowles that she was the victim of identity theft as she had 22 bank accounts, four houses, nine vehicles, and arrest warrants in Texas and Maryland for cybercrime, money laundering and drug trafficking. The alleged representative knew details about Cowles, such as her Social Security number, home address, and the names of her family members. However, he also stated that her laptop had been hacked and people were watching her house. The alleged representative even knew that her son, who is two, was playing in her living room while they were on the phone.

The alleged representative stated he could help her by forwarding her information to “his colleague at the CIA.” She also would need to give an alleged undercover agent $50,000 in cash, which she put in a shoebox outside her home, so she could be issued a check from the government under a new Social Security number. The scammers retrieved the money in the shoebox and warned her not to alert anyone to avoid having her house seized or being arrested. Though she complied, she suspected it was a scam and contacted the police, who told her that a government agency would never ask for money. She ended her article by saying the incident left her feeling humiliated.

Copyright 2024,