A 53-year-old Chesterton resident was defrauded of nearly $35,000 earlier this month after she was convinced her Apple account had been hacked and was told to deposit that amount in a Bitcoin ATM, the Chesterton Police Department said in a statement.

The resident was browsing her iPad when “she got a full-screen popup informing her that her Apple account had been hacked,” with a link to click for “rectifying the situation.”

The resident clicked the link and “the next thing she knew her iPhone rang,” police said. “She answered and a man purporting to be ‘Anthony Brown’ from ‘Apple Security‘ introduced himself.

He thanked her for acting promptly to rectify the situation and he asked her what bank she uses. She told him and he told her that he was going to transfer her to a ‘secure line’ to speak with someone from her bank.”

“‘Garrett’ took over the call and told her it looked like $35,000 had been withdrawn from her account to purchase child pornography in Russia and China,” police said. The resident “insisted she would never do anything like that. ‘Garrett’ told her that if she wanted to dispute the charge, she’d have to back the dispute with $35,000 by taking that much cash out of her bank and depositing it into a Bitcoin ATM.”

The resident was given two hours to complete that task. “This is a component of a scam, a time crunch, which can stress the victim into doing something their inner voice knows is wrong,” the police noted.

The resident, accompanied by her son, then withdrew $10,000 from her account in her bank’s Chesterton branch: $10,000 in $100 bills. The other $25,000 she withdrew from her bank’s Valparaiso branch but on arriving at a Bitcoin ATM in Portage was told that the CoinHub ATM code had expired. The scammer provided her with a new one and the resident and her son “stuffed the $100 bills into the machine,” police said.

“‘Garrett’ told her it would take up to 72 hours to get her money back,” police said. “When she told him she was $400 short of the demanded $35,000, he told her not to worry about the $400, to just consider it a reward for taking such prompt action.”

She was also told “to expect a call in a day or two from a ‘Federal Reserve Agent,’ possibly for further instructions on how to clear this up,” police said. The investigating officer advised her “not to field any more texts or calls from anyone about this, as it’s a scam and the only reason the scammer would get back in touch would be to try and trick her into giving out more money.”

When asked whether the voices on the phone sound as though “English was their primary language, she said no,” police  said.

The resident’s bank “has already told her that this type of activity—making a withdrawal and then doing something unwise with it—is not covered by fraud protection,” the investigating officer stated in his report. “She asked if there was any chance of recovery from a law enforcement angle. I explained to her that it would be unrealistic to give her too much hope of that. She realizes that, most likely, the $35,000 is simply gone.”