Indianapolis News and HeadlinesWRTV Investigates


Pendleton woman warns of scam targeting Chime banking app members

Scammers pose as customer service representatives
Posted at 2:14 PM, Mar 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-12 07:40:45-04

PENDLETON, Ind.— Mobile banking apps are become more popular.

They typically offer lower fees than traditional banks, however, they’re becoming a popular target for scammers.

A Pendleton woman contacted WRTV Investigates after she lost $1,340 in a banking app scam.

Yvonne St. Clair started using the Chime banking app last fall when she started a new job.

Yvonne St. Clair started using the Chime banking app last fall when she started a new job.

"Some people were telling me it's a really good way to build your credit score,” said St. Clair. “So I went with them even though I have a bank I've been with for 11 years."

The Pendleton woman said she got an alert from Chime that stated she made a $77 purchase on Amazon— a purchase she did not make.

She disputed the charge.

“I didn’t hear anything for a couple days, so I thought I need to call,” said St. Clair.

She did a Google search and found what she thought was Chime’s customer service phone number.

“The guy answered and said ‘thank you for calling Chime,’ and he said someone tried to get $1200 out of my account and let’s track them down,” said St. Clair. “I followed it hook, line and sinker.”

St. Clair said the representative had her download an app that allowed them to remotely access her phone.

The representative also had her transfer money to several different email addresses.

St. Clair realized the scammers had posed as Chime customer service and had taken $1,340 out of her account.
“I was just sick,” said St. Clair. “I was angry.”

Mobile banking apps are become more popular.

We did some checking and found scammers are also posing as Chime customer service representatives on social media as well.

We reached out to the company.

“Chime was founded on the belief that basic banking services should be helpful, easy, and free,” a Chime spokesperson said in a statement to WRTV. “Regardless of who you bank with, you should always call the number on the back of your card to speak with a legitimate representative."

Yvonne St. Clair said she did initially try the number on the back of her card, but could not get through at first.

She did eventually get ahold of the real Chime customer service and got her $1,340 back.

“I just felt really foolish you know,” said St. Clair. "If it sounds odd, just hang up! Just hang up the phone which is what my gut was telling me to do."

Yvonne St. Clair contacted WRTV Investigates


WRTV Investigates also spoke with Penny Lee, CEO at the Financial Technology Association, a trade organization that represents digital financial institutions including Chime.

"We are seeing a rise as fraudsters, scammers are getting more sophisticated,” said Lee. “No fintech app, no banking app, no financial institution is going to be asking you to download a 3rd party to then transfer money over."

Chime Financial also has thousands of Better Business Bureau Complaints, many claiming scammers drained their funds.

Chime has an extensive scam warning page on its site, showing the warning signs of a Chime impersonator who may target you.

It says to be suspicious of any text, call, or email claiming to be from Chime, and says Chime will never contact you to ask for your Social Security Number or Chime account number.

The Better Business Bureau offers the following tips:

  • Understand your bank's policies. Know that your bank will never ask you to send money to yourself. If someone tries to convince you otherwise, it's a scam.
  • Watch out for fake caller IDs. Scammers can spoof caller ID names and numbers to make you think you are receiving a call from a reputable source. If you weren't expecting to be contacted by your bank, it's best to avoid answering. Instead, call the number on the back of your ATM card to confirm that there is an issue.
  • Never share one-time passcodes. Scammers can use one-time passcodes from your bank or any other company to access your accounts and change information. Don't share them with anyone, no exceptions.
  • Contact your bank if you suspect a scam. If you receive an unsolicited call, text, or email that you suspect is a scam, contact your bank immediately and let them know.
  • Don't reply to suspicious texts. Ignore any instructions to reply yes or no if you receive an unsolicited, suspicious text message. If you reply to a scammer, they could save your number as "active" and target you with future scams.