Welcome to our Chime scams warning, in which we give you a heads-up about a dangerous scam that is affecting people who are banking with Chime.
On March 4, 2023, we received the following report from a person who claims to have been scammed for $7,920:
I have an account with Chime bank. I recently called what I believed was their customer service number, and spoke to someone who I thought was a Chime agent. However, it turned out to be a scammer who took control of my phone.
They then transferred $5,000 out of my checking account and used my Cash app account to buy $2,920 worth of Bitcoin. They also tried to purchase $5,000 in Amazon gift cards, but I realized what was happening at that time.
I reported the incident to both Chime and Cash app. Unfortunately, Chime denied my dispute, claiming that they found no error. I am still waiting for a response from Cash app. Is there anything you can do to help me recover my money?
So what is the Chime scam, and how to protect yourself?
Reporters heavily wrote about a similar incident. A woman has lost $1,300 to a scammer who pretended to be a representative from Chime Financial, one of the most popular online financial sites of 2022.
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While it and similar online banks offer lower fees than traditional banks, they are a frequent target of scammers. In this case, the scammer claimed there was possible fraud in the woman’s account and transferred hundreds of dollars out of it before the victim realized what was happening.
Moreover, we heard about a year ago that Facebook’s parent company Meta Platforms, has filed a joint lawsuit with Chime against two individuals in Nigeria who were involved in phishing attacks. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants used Facebook and Instagram accounts to impersonate Chime, tricking people into accessing fake phishing sites to obtain their login information and withdraw funds. Meta claims the defendants used a computer network to control over 800 impersonating Instagram accounts and five Facebook accounts.
Apparently, Chime has become a target for scammers. In fact, there are at least 6 types of common Chime scams you should learn to recognize and avoid:
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Bogus Chime Support Websites
Scammers create fake customer support websites that look similar to the official site to trick you into sharing sensitive information.
To protect yourself, always check the URL (chime.com) to ensure you’re on an official website.
Fake Chime Social Media Profiles
Cybercriminals create fake social media accounts in order to trick you into giving them your money or login credentials.
To ensure you’re on an official Chime social media account, look for the blue checkmark, which means the account is verified, or access the social media accounts from the Chime homepage.
Support Phone Calls
Scammers make fake customer support calls and claim to be affiliated with Chime in order to verify your account for whatever reason.
Chime will never call you to ask for your personal information.
If you are worried, call the number on the back of the Chime card to talk to a real agent.
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Scammers send fake messages, emails, and DMs in order to trick you into giving them your personal information.
To protect yourself, don’t share your details or click on links inside the messages, no matter how official they look.
Money Flip and Cash Flip Scams
Scammers promise to multiply your money through a money flip or cash flip scam, but it’s a way to steal your money.
To protect yourself, don’t send cash upfront, and don’t believe anyone who promises your money to 5x, 10x, or 100x.
Unrequested Debit Card
If you receive an unsolicited Chime debit or credit card in the mail, it might mean someone opened a Chime account in your name.
To protect yourself, call customer support and report the incident.
Also, don’t call the number on the back of the card, as it may be a fake card.
Chime published an article to help people understand the difference between fraud and scams and what to do if they become victims. Fraud occurs when suspicious activity on a bank account occurs which was not authorized by the account owner. Scams occur when a person willingly provides personal information or authorizes a transaction. Victims of fraud are more likely to recover their money since the activity was unauthorized, but victims of scams may find it harder to recover their money.
They also shared a guide on how to protect oneself from online scams. Chime advises individuals to be cautious of red flags, such as the use of the term “free money,” images of large amounts of cash or luxury items, and references to Chime “ambassadors” or “reps.”
The guide also advises individuals to protect their personal information and to never share it with anyone who claims to be from Chime. They also warn against phone calls, text messages, cash or money flipping, direct messages, and fake support websites and social media profiles, which scammers can use to obtain sensitive information.
On SiteJabber, Chime is ranked 1.58/5 stars based on 64 reviews, indicating that most customers are generally dissatisfied with their purchases and complaining about issues such as delayed direct deposits, account closures, lack of access to their money, poor customer support, and failure to resolve issues with purchases. The reviews advise against using them for banking services, making purchases, or building credit. The company has responded to some of the reviews, but customers remain dissatisfied with the service.
On TrustPilot, they are ranked 2.8/5 stars based on 13 reviews. Reviewers report problems with account security, frozen accounts, and poor customer service. Some have experienced unauthorized access to their accounts, and others have had trouble getting their money back. Many customers have given them one star and reported feeling like victims of theft and fraud.
On consumeraffairs.com, they have ranked 3.6/5 stars based on 721 reviews. Some customers reported having their accounts closed without prior notification, being denied access to their money, and being victims of fraudulent charges. Others complained about poor customer service, the app crashing, and being evicted due to delayed payments.
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Many customers also reported that Chime Bank held their funds, and they could not get their money for several weeks. Some people mentioned that the bank was not helpful in resolving disputes, and they did not receive their money back even after filing claims.
Complaints We Received
On October 2, 2023, we received the following complaint:
I believed I was communicating with a customer service representative from Chime to recover some money from another company. The individual seemed legitimate. He repeatedly instructed me to transfer money between my checking and savings accounts, claiming it was a test on their end. He then convinced me to send $777.70 to an email address. When he tried to get an additional $500.00 and suggested I ask my family for assistance, I began to suspect something was amiss. Now, I’m out the $777.70 that I needed for the month’s expenses. As a result, I’m unable to cover my rent and bills. PLEASE HELP!
In conclusion, with its 15 million customers, Chime Bank has become a frequent scammer target. Scammers create bogus support websites, fake social media profiles, and fake customer support calls to trick Chime users into giving away their sensitive information or money.
To protect oneself from these scams, individuals should be wary of red flags, check the URL, and verify the blue checkmark on social media accounts. Additionally, individuals should never share their personal information or send cash upfront and should call Chime customer support to report any suspicious activity.
Chime has published articles and guides to help people understand the difference between fraud and scams and to protect themselves from online scams. As an FDIC-insured financial institution, Chime takes safety and security very seriously and encourages its users to do the same.
To protect yourself from these Chime scams, be vigilant, double-check information, and only provide your personal information on official websites or to real Chime agents.
Ensure you only use official Chime websites and social media profiles. Do not share personal information with unknown callers, do not click on links within messages, and report any suspicious activity immediately.
If you have lost significant money to online scams, do not lose hope. We can help you recover your funds!