Milwaukee man allowed a boy to borrow his cellphone to text his mother — and was scammed out of $5,000

News & Politics

A 27-year-old man said that he was scammed out of $5,000 after he handed his cellphone to a boy who had asked him if he could text his mother.

Anyon Rettinger told WISN-TV that he was working on his car in his driveway in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, when a boy rode up to him on a Lime scooter and asked to borrow his phone.

“He just starts asking me if he can use my phone to contact a parent. He was scootering, and his funds are running out, and he went too far from home,” Rettinger said.

He thought the boy couldn’t have been more than 12 years old.

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Rettinger said he unlocked the phone to let the boy use it, and he even watched him as he appeared to text his mother. Instead, he says that the boy opened the man’s Apple Pay app and transferred $5,000 out of his account.

The boy left before Rettinger realized what had happened.

“And I’m just kind of like, that internal panic kicks in, you know?” he said.

Rettinger thinks that the boy saw him type in his code to unlock the phone and that he used the same code to bypass the security on the Apple Pay transaction.

He said that his credit union acknowledged that he had been scammed, but it refused to cancel the transaction and said it was a valid charge.

“$5,000, in a very large grand scheme of things, isn’t that big of a deal, but for a 27-year-old that doesn’t have a lot of money that’s trying to make it, it’s huge,” Rettinger said to WISN.

A spokesperson for the UW Credit Union said that they empathized with Rettinger’s situation but they warned people not to fall for similar scams.

“Unfortunately, when certain authentication measures are completed — be it facial recognition or otherwise — it limits the financial institution’s ability to change the outcome of the disputed charge,” said the spokesperson.

Apple and Milwaukee police said they are investigating the incident.

Here’s the news video about the scam:

Milwaukee man lost $5,000 in Apple Pay

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