Katy salon owners warning others about woman scamming stylists out of thousands of dollars through Cash App
KATY, Texas - Two Katy salon owners are now warning fellow small business owners about a woman who tried to steal thousands of dollars from them by hacking into their Cash App accounts.
Harris County Sheriff's Office is now investigating this case as a theft.
Around 2:45 p.m. last Wednesday, owner Mary Buoc-Anyuon said a woman walked into her salon, Lightning Braids on the 19000 block of West Little York in Katy and requested an appointment for her daughter with special needs. Buoc-Anyuon said the woman then asked to see her Instagram portfolio.
"She’s like can I see your work? And I was like sure and I opened my phone and I gave it to her. Usually I don’t give customers my phone but I don't know, for some reason that day I did," Buoc-Anyuon said.
Turns out, the woman wasn’t interested in a hair appointment. Buoc-Anyuon said she received an alert later that the woman had attempted to transfer thousands of dollars to herself.
Buoc-Anyuon said when the first transaction of $3,000 didn't go through, the woman began sending herself money in smaller increments, managing to steal about $600 total.
"She sent herself $300, it went through. And another $300, it went through," Buoc-Anyuon said. "I didn’t question her. For me, whenever people come in, I don’t question them because when they walk in, they make an appointment. They never just go in and do fraud."
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Buoc-Anyuon's sister-in-law, Mary Stella Bee, who owns Stellus Braids Salon nearby believes the same woman stole her credit card information earlier that day. Bee said the woman sold her a similar story and attempted to spend thousands of dollars during an online shopping spree but was declined by her bank.
"She said oh I'm coming to book an appointment for my daughter and to see if you guys can do it. She has autism. She said can you do her hair?" Bee said. "She asked to see my Instagram. I took my business card and I gave it to her to check my Instagram page. She said I don’t have Instagram. Can I check in your phone? I didn’t know that she just wanted to scam me."
"I think she should do better than that because people work really hard for their money," she added.
Buoc-Anyuon said this incident has made her feel more distrustful of customers. She's now warning other small business owners about this woman.
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FOX 26 is not currently naming the woman because so far, no charges have been filed against her. However, HCSO says anyone with information is urged to contact their office.