Zuzanna Herdzina, an oncology nurse in Dublin, lost all her life savings after phone scammers tricked her.
She had returned from night duty at the hospital and was exhausted which allowed the hoaxsters to convince her she was part of a criminal investigation.
They told her she needed to transfer her savings from her bank account to Revolut using a “safe virtual wallet” app which ended up costing her €6,000.
Speaking to RSVP Live, Zuzanna opened up about the horrible event: “I was sleeping after night duty and unfortunately, I answered the phone.
“I got phone calls previously but obviously, I ignored them but this time they just got to me in a perfect moment.”
After working long hours into the night, Zuzanna was so exhausted that she didn’t realise it was a scam.
“I was absolutely brainless and even now talking about it it’s really really embarrassing when I look back because it was so obvious it’s a scam.”
“But I got the message it was like an automatic message and it was saying that it’s the last warning and I had to hold for the operator and wait to speak to them.”
A man introduced himself as Daniel Parker, an officer with the Financial Criminal Authority.
“They said that my name came up in a criminal investigation, that my PPSN was used in money laundering abroad and there is €180,000 in my name already.”
It was the introduction that made Zuzanna think it was real: “The funny thing is they introduced themselves as officers, not Gardaí.
“That was what made it kind of was believable because they introduced themselves as the officers of the Financial Criminal Authority. I never heard of it.”
The nurse shares that the scammers were “really really pros” but that she has trouble thinking back on the event.
“When I think about it and believe me I’m thinking about it all the time because it nearly broke me really because it’s really embarrassing.
“I still think about it and I think that the aftermath is even worse now, like I lost all my money to now I’m thinking ‘Oh my god, everyone will now remember me as the dope that lost all her money.’”
Zuzanna says they convinced her to stay on the phone as one man threatened her: “They convinced me to hold the line and one of them was threatening me saying under no circumstances can I leave the country
“My first thought was ‘Oh my god, I’m supposed to go to Poland in a few days time.”
The scammers advised her to find a solicitor before transferring her to a “colleague”: “He was playing the good cop saying ‘ Oh, don’t worry about it. It looks like a stolen identities case. We have everything about you. You never commit any crime.”
Zuzanna’s main worry was that if she had been implicated in a crime she would lose her job as a nurse.
“I can’t have anything to do with police or any criminal investigations because I can lose my job. That was another factor.
“I was like, ‘I can’t, this needs to be sorted.” That’s how they got me.”
The scammers told her not to speak to anyone about the investigation: “They were like, ‘Do not speak to anyone because we will protect you from the real criminals.
“But under no circumstances talk to anyone about this investigation, because we don’t know who is using your PPSN. It could be your best friend. It could be anyone from your close circle.’”
When she realised it was a scam, Zuzanna contacted the Gardaí immediately but as she authorised the transactions little could be done to help her.
She has tried to reach out to Revolut but hasn’t been able to speak to a person on the phone to discuss her situation.
After her friends learned about what Zuzanna had gone through, they set up a GoFundMe to try to recuperate some of the costs, it can be found here.
Get the latest RSVP headlines straight to your inbox for free by signing up to our newsletter