Yonkers man claims he was scammed out of thousands by fake airline reps

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YONKERS -

A Yonkers man was planning a nice getaway, but instead he says crooks got away with thousands of his dollars.

Gary Chattman was planning to go to Quebec with his wife, but he soon learned he wouldn't be able to go. He claims he was scammed out of nearly $15,000 by people who intercepted his called to United Airlines.

Chattman says he called for information on his landline and got their number -- 1-800-UNITED-1. He says a fake customer service representative told him to buy $1,000 worth of gift cards to redeem as a special promotion. He did -- and claims he was then told there was a mistake and the money would be refunded.

"Go to online banking, and I will take control of your computer and I will give you $1,500," Chattman says the representative told him.

He says instead, the scammer withdrew $4,500 and threatened him and his family.

"He said, 'Oh no. You pressed the wrong key. You're going to jail.' I got very frightened," Chattman says.

Chattman says the alleged scammers demanded he send two cash transactions amounting to nearly $10,000 to New Jersey addresses or he'd be arrested. It wasn't until he sent the money that he realized he was being scammed. He soon after reported it to Yonkers police.

Chattman plans to take legal action against Bank of America, claiming they should have questioned the unusually large transactions. He also plans to sue United Airlines, claiming they knew about this scam and didn't warn customers.

United responded saying, "We do not believe this customer contacted the correct number for United, and we encourage any customer to confirm that they are reaching the correct number for United. United's reservation phone is 800-864-8331."

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