An Austin, Texas man claims he was drugged and robbed during a night out on the town, and now he is trying to get reimbursed thousands of dollars that went missing that night, according to reports.
FOX 7 in Austin reported that the man, who only identified himself as Steve, said he was in Downtown Austin with a group of friends, and were “in no way to the point of blackout drinking.”
At the end of the night, Steve and his friends were at a cocktail bar on 4th Street called Estelle’s.
He told the station one of his last memories of the night was FaceTiming his cousin to let him know he was getting into an Uber.
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“Then I woke up the next morning in my bed,” he said.
After waking up, he discovered his credit and debit cards were missing, and so was his phone.
He checked his bank statements and found 10 to 12 charges at three Walmart stores near Katy, Texas, amounting to about $10,000.
Steve also said he found a series of $3 charges and a $900-plus cash back withdrawal, along with a Zelle payment for $1,000, a 7-Eleven charge, and two withdrawals of $1,000 each, from ATMs.
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Since the discovery, Steve has spoken with the Austin Police Department, his banks, and several others.
“It’s been exhausting,” he said. “I’ve spent over 100 hours in my personal time trying to find the right entity that’s willing to have my back.”
The station reported in February 2022 that another man shared a story that he woke up with no memory of what happened the night before on West 6th Street, only to find thousands of dollars missing from his account.
Then in October 2022, two women were arrested after they allegedly posed as rideshare drivers in February and robbed victims in Downtown Austin, of thousands of dollars.
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In a police report obtained by Fox 7, police said, “A common criminal tactic used in the Historic Downtown Austin area includes picking up intoxicated patrons and pretending to be their Uber/Lyft drivers. The patrons will then either be robbed or driven around Austin with the express intent of getting as much money, compensation, or items from the patron as possible.”
Steve said his bank, Chase, denied his third fraud claim.
In the letter, Chase said it reviewed claims totaling over $12,000 that were filed on Aug. 7, adding the claims were denied because his PIN was used with no invalid attempts when the ATM transactions were made or after his card was reported lost.
“Further, inconsistent information was provided to us when you reported the activity as fraud,” the letter read. “Additionally, your device was used prior and during the processing of these transactions.”
Steve said he feels “pretty helpless.”
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“I’m hoping this message gets out to the public, at least to let them know that there is activity like this happening,” he said. “Anyone is really eligible to be a victim of this crime.”
The station reached out to Chase, which echoed what the letter stated in terms of Steve’s PIN being used without any invalid attempts when the ATM transactions were made.
“Clients can sign up for free account alerts on chase.com,” the representative said.