RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)– One local dance team in Richmond is scrambling to raise money for their upcoming competition after someone scammed them out of thousands of dollars.
The Dynamic Dance Academy, a group of 60 students, has been raising money since March to compete in Birmingham, Alabama in August.
But the dance academy’s owner, Bre Jones, said those plans were temporarily paused after someone stole $5,000 from their account.
“Eyes bloodshot red and in tears. I’m looking through the emails and everything seems so legit,” Jones said.
She had received a call Wednesday from a man posing as a Bank of America representative.
He told her there was a pending transaction for $4,924 through Zelle. He instructed her to provide him a verification code and confirm the last four digits of her account number to reverse the transaction, according to Jones.
“I verified the code and literally within seconds the money was gone,” she said.
Only $0.32 remained in the account Tuesday evening.
Jones received emails sent from a fake Bank of America domain and a confirmation of transaction email from Chase, a bank she doesn’t have an account with. She immediately opened a claim with Bank of America in-person.
Jones says the ordeal has had an impact on the entire team.
“It affects them and if they see me off it affects them, so the biggest thing was just making sure that they were prepared,” she said. “They felt prepared for competition and just doing what we can to regain if not all of it, a majority of it to get us through.”
In recent days, she’s been finding different ways to raise that money back.
“A car wash, we’re trying to put together a fish fry. So just anything that we can do to get them ready for competition,” Jones said.
Both Zelle and Bank of America say if you receive a call from a number that appears to be from your bank, to never give out personal information like a verification code.
Instead hang up and call your bank directly or visit a branch in-person.