ORLANDO, Fla. - A worker at a 'Ripley's Believe It or Not' museum in Orlando chose not to believe it.
For a minute, he and his wife were billionaires after a wire transaction popped up in his bank account. He first noticed it when every penny to his name and every bit of credit he had was suddenly frozen.
"On the way to work, I stopped to put gas in my car and my card didn't work," said Otelo Vizcaino.
Vizcaino is the webmaster for 'Ripley's Believe It or Not' and has seen some pretty unbelievable things. But what happened to his SunTrust checking account was truly beyond belief.
"It was one penny short of a billion dollars that had been wire transferred into the account and then of course the next transaction was the withdrawal of that money," he said.
Vizcaino's bank records show someone hacked his account and made an almost one billion dollar deposit, which they quickly tried to withdraw. The large sum triggered the bank's fraud alert, which is why all of Vizcaino's assets were frozen and the FBI was called in.
For a dad of six kids, to lose all access to his money was a big problem.
Vizcaino said he was told, "You can't access anything. Everything is frozen. Can't get to any money. Can't write any checks."
Fortunately after several days of investigation, Vizcaino was told his accounts would soon be unfrozen.
But in the meantime, his banker had to sign an affidavit assuring the FBI Vizcaino was not involved in Russian money laundering.
Vizcaino's co-workers said they find it ironic that a man who specializes in the unbelievable was a billionaire for a minute.
"We should tell the PR dept," coworker Fraud Victim said. "It is a believe it or not. And you are a Ripley's Believe It or Not employee."
Investigators told Vizcaino that the money was deposited into his account from someone in a foreign country, who then tried to transfer it to an offshore account.
Police say it's unclear if the hacker got any of the money. It's also unclear how the hacker got into Vizcaino's accounts.
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