Eunice, LA (KPEL News) - According to the most recent statistics, Americans lost nearly $9-billion to scams. That's billion with a b. The majority of the losses reported come from investment and cryptocurrency schemes. The Better Business Bureau of Acadiana tracks information they get from victims or potential victims so all of us in the Lafayette area can be aware of ways scammers are trying to get to our money.

The Better Business Bureau has a tool called the BBB Scam Tracker that allows people who suspect or know of a scam to share information. Some of the reports they receive are staggering and heartbreaking. Such was the case with a 71-year-old Eunice man who, in early May, lost $50,000 of his hard-earned money to a cryptocurrency scheme.

We are providing, at the end of this article, a list of red flags that can help you protect yourself from scammers aiming to scare you into doing something that could cut deep into your pocketbook, like it did with the gentleman in south Louisiana.

You'll also find a list of the most frequently used area codes used by scammer below.

READ MORE: 5 Most Dangerous Scams in Louisiana

According to the report, the man was on his computer when it gave him a red alert. Immediately, his phone rang, and the caller claimed to be with his bank. The person on the line told him he needed to withdraw all of his money from his account because someone was trying to hack it.

scam alert

The scammer instructed him to go to his bank, withdraw all his money, and "go put it in a bitcoin machine." They told him not to talk to anyone at the bank about what was going on because he didn't know if they could be trusted to not be part of the hack. They reassured the gentleman that his accounts would be safe on Monday so he could transfer the money back.

He withdrew more than $50,000 from his account and did as they asked.

When he called to retrieve his money, the number had been disconnected.

The man called the FBI who informed him that he had, in fact, been hacked, and there was no way to get his money back.

When we hear stories like the one from the Eunice man, it's easy to jump to the conclusion that he should have been aware that it was a scam. We don't know what words they used or information they provided to make him believe the call was legitimate. What we can do is learn from the mistakes of others to protect ourselves.

Here are a few takeaways from his misfortune:


If you get a call from someone who says they are with your bank asking you to withdraw all or a lot of money, hang up and call your bank directly at their official number. We are a friendly lot in south Louisiana and, chances are, you know someone who works at your bank.

Instructions to not speak to anyone at the financial institution should send red flags flying. Banks have customer service representatives who are happy to assist you or answer questions. Go to the bank in person and talk to a real live human being.

When in doubt, initiate a conversation with your financial institution.


Too many scams are successful because victims are asked to transfer actual money to a bitcoin or cryptocurrency account. Those digital instruments are not well-regulated and more difficult to track or recover.

Unless you are savvy with cryptocurrency (and most of us are not), stay away from it.


Someone is always the first victim. You can ensure there are no others by sharing your story. Don't be embarrassed if you have become a victim. You may save someone else the grief and heartache that you suffered at the hands of a scammer.

Visit the Better Business Bureau's Scam Tracker to enter the information so no one else becomes a victim.

We live in a wonderful part of the country, but south Louisiana isn't immune to crime or scams. Thieves are thieves, no matter how they steal. They are looking to get to your money, and it's important that we know the signs.

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