Crooks targeting people with Navy Federal app, conning them out of thousands

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Crooks are targeting people with the Navy Federal Credit Union app on their phone and they’re conning victims out of thousands of dollars.

Antoni Garza was walking to the Planet Fitness on Laskin Road when a car drove up with three men inside. At first, they were polite, asking where the nearest Navy Federal? Then the mood changed.

“At that point, I was right there, they cornered me kind of in between my car and their car,” Garza said.

They told him to open his Navy Federal app on his phone and that’s when they put the heat on.

“The man who was talking to me was talking extremely fast,” Garza said. “I’m sure it’s a tactic. You know, my heart was racing a million miles an hour. At that point they were demanding my phone and it was either my life or my phone at that point.”

His mom shared the information on social media and has heard numerous people tell her it happened to someone they know — all had the Navy Federal app on their phone. And sometimes, the tactic would vary.

“Someone would ask someone to transfer money and then they would have an issue,” Washington said. “And so, the scammer would then say, ‘Oh, let me see your phone’. And in that little bit of time they have your phone, they’re able to copy your account information and sometimes, even apply for a loan on your phone.”

That loan is deposited into your account, and the scammer transfers it to theirs–and you’re on the hook for the money. In a statement, Navy Federal said:

“Navy Federal makes safeguarding our members’ privacy and security a top priority. We have many security controls in place to protect our members from fraud and hackers, including multifactor authentication, state-of-the-art fraud prevention systems, and biometric sign in. All are backed by our 24/7 Member Services line at 1-888-842-6328, our network of over 350 branches worldwide for in-person support and employees who work behind the scenes to keep our members safe. If a member is a victim of fraud, they can contact us any time.”

— Timothy Day, Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy & Experiences, Navy Federal Credit Union.

Meanwhile, Garza has this warning.

“I don’t want to say don’t trust anybody, but you really can’t,” Garza said.

Police say Garza did the right thing in complying with the crooks. But they advised to always be aware of your surroundings and, if you can help it, don’t hand your phone over to anyone.

Garza said he files a fraud claim with Navy Federal every day, but every day it’s denied.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.