A Central New York woman is warning others after falling for a sophisticated new scary scam that sounds too real not to be true.

Scams are nothing new but this one takes things to a whole new level. It starts with a phone call from Amazon about an order on your account for thousands of dollars. One you clearly didn't make.

SIphotography/Think Stock
SIphotography/Think Stock

It escalates into claims of someone stealing your identity, maxing out credit cards, and making counterfeit charges, including renting a vehicle in your name that police found loaded with meth, drug paraphernalia, and thousands of dollars in cash.

Daris Kosinski received one of those calls. "I was on the phone for more than 5 hours," she said. "It was really scary. Somehow they knew where I lived, worked, banked and how much was in my accounts. They stated they were going to freeze my accounts if I didn't follow the protocol because my personal information had been sold and my identity was stolen. It was believable but unbelievable at the same time."

Text message SMS scam or phishing concept. Man hands using smart phone
B4LLS/Think Stock

To rectify the situation the scammers ask for gift cards or Bitcoin. "Yes, I feel stupid now but at that time, I was scared to death and was protecting myself and family. They made me feel like there were people watching my every move. Once I figured out it was a scam, I didn't answer my phone unless I knew the number of who was calling. They tried to call twice but didn't leave a message."

Kosinski filed two reports, one with the FBI Internal Crime Complaint Center and another with the Federal Trade Commission. She also called the New York State Police but was told there's not much that can be done. "They can't get the scammed money back. All they can really do is file a report."

It's unlikely Kosinski will see the money or the sleep she lost during the scary ordeal. "I didn't sleep or eat much for a few days because of the stress it caused me. I may be reimbursed for the gift cards but won't know for a few weeks. The store manager was victimized once and understood what I was going through."

Others in Central New York understand too after receiving a similar call or text. "This happened to me on Monday," said Paula Pinto.

Credit - Paula Pinto
Credit - Paula Pinto

Theresa Megerell received a call this week too. "The number started with 315. I don't use Amazon so I knew it was not real."

Kosinski is thankful she didn't lose thousands of dollars as others have in the same scam. She also wanted to warn others about being vigilant. "Pay attention to bank accounts, credit reports, and online purchases."

Amazon Crack Down

Amazon has been trying to crack down on scammers by adding a new online reporting tool for customers who receive suspicious calls or emails.

In 2021, Amazon took action against over 350 people trying to scam customers.

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