Contact 2 scores reimbursement for St. Louis woman scammed out of tax return

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ST. LOUIS – Recently homeless, Jalessa Gray said she and her young son were currently splitting their nights between a women’s shelter and a friend’s house while she made plans to get back on her feet. But those plans were dashed when a large portion of her more than $9,000 tax refund was stolen by a scammer.

“I checked the Cash App two or three times. The third time I checked it, that’s when I noticed that half my money was gone,” Gray said.

After depositing the refund into an account with the mobile payment service Cash App she says she couldn’t access all her money at the ATM. She Googled Cash App and called what she thought was the company’s customer service line.

“When I called the number, they told me, ‘Welcome to Cash App technical support. How can I help you?’ I proceeded to tell the person what my problem was, that my card was blocked. I cannot pull any more money out, I could not use my card. He told me he could help me,” Gray said.

Jalessa says the man instructed her to install an app on her phone. Once installed, she says he took control of her screen, downloaded Cash App onto her phone and had her login to her account. Moments later, Jalessa claims her screen went blank. She started to feel uneasy. By then it was too late.

“When I called this number back the person picked up the phone and said, ‘Domino’s’ and I said, ‘This is not Domino’s,’” Gray said.

Jalessa’s money was gone. By the time she called Contact 2 her hope was dwindling that she’d get it back.

“It’s not like I’m begging anybody to do anything for me. That’s what I go to work for. So for you to just take everything and not care,” Gray said.

Fox 2’s Mike Colombo contacted Cash App and explained what happened. A representative told him the company’s Support Escalation team would investigate. Less than 24 hours later, Cash App emailed Colombo to say it reviewed Jalessa’s case and reimbursed her the full $8,785 that was stolen.

The company didn’t share any specifics about what it found and Jalessa says it doesn’t really matter. She said she’s learned her lesson and is incredibly thankful for Cash App’s generosity.

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