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He won the lottery, then scammers called and took $25,000

A restaurant manager won the lottery. Then scammers called
A restaurant manager won the lottery. Then scammers called 02:27

CHICAGO (CBS) – One phone call, that's all it took for a local restaurant manager's bank account to be drained at $25,000.

CBS 2's Lauren Victory showed how scammers are getting even more sophisticated.

Michael Dermody opened the door to sobriety about five years ago. He stuck to it despite needing to handle alcohol as a restaurant general manager.

"My liver came completely back," Dermody said.

He feels like he won the lottery, and he actually did last Christmas, a lucky $250,000 ticket.

"I got to a great place in my life," he said. "I was stress free."

A scam caller pretending to be from Chase Bank changed everything. The liar claimed to see transfers happening in Dermody's account and told him a wire was needed to reverse the transactions.

"They walked me through everything of how to do it," Dermody said. "Then they said 'Oh here comes another one and I said, 'You know what? I don't feel good about this.'"

Dermody rushed to the bank to report his suspicions in person.

An email came later that day saying the bank canceled his wire request as part of a security review.

"I'm figuring everything is going to be OK," Dermody said.

It wasn't.

While at the restaurant the next day, he got a Chase alert of more fraudulent activity.

"I went through the roof," he said. "I just don't get it."

Back to the bank he went to close down the problem-ridden account and start fresh.

"Once we had to transfer all the accounts over to my new account, it was shorted by $25,000," he said.

It turned out three wire transfers did go through, two for $9,000 and another for $7,000.

It's been more than three months of back and forth with bank investigations and customer support.

Victory: "Has Chase told you what you could've done wrong?"

Dermody: "No. Nothing."

Victory: "So you don't even know how to learn so this doesn't happen again?"

Dermody: "Correct."

Chase tells us their employees will never ask for money to prevent fraud. Dermody feels like his luck's run dry.

Chas said its working with SunTrust Bank to try to recover the restaurant manager's cash, but recalling wire money can be tricky.

CBS 2 asked about that email that confirmed a wire transfer was canceled.

Chas said its system did stop a wire but the customer must've reinstated it somehow, perhaps during his conversation with the scammer.

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