Dance academy

Richmond Dance Academy loses thousands to scam

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – In three weeks, the Richmond Dynamic Angels will be one of 33 teams competing in a national dance competition in Birmingham, Alabama.

Breonda Jones, owner of Dynamic Dance Academy, says the team has been training four days a week for when she speaks.

Since March, Jones says the team has raised thousands of dollars to cover competition costs as well as money for their banquets and team outings.

That changed a few days ago when Jones received a call from a phone number associated with his bank.

“The rep told me I had a pending transaction through Zelle against my account for $4,996,” Jones said. “He said I owed Zelle the money for me.”

Jones followed the instructions and sent the verification code she received to her phone.

“Once I gave him that code, the money was gone within seconds,” she said.

Jones immediately called his bank, who told him he was a scammer.

“I started crying. That’s all I could do was cry because I was in disbelief that nothing would trigger me to say ‘hey, maybe this isn’t right’ or ‘ there’s something going on,'” she said. “Nothing made me think he wasn’t a true rep.”

Three weeks out from competing for the Dynamic Angels, Jones says she’s organizing fundraisers to get that money back.

“We do what we do for the girls. Everything revolves around children. It’s about seeing that smile on their face,” she said. “It’s heartbreaking to see someone take away.”

Jones also hopes her experience raises awareness of these types of scams.

“I want to let people know what’s going on, to make them more cautious about getting phone calls throughout the day, and that tells you something about your account,” Jones said. “Hang up and call your bank again.”

Jones has also set up a GoFundMe page for their stimulus fund.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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