AUSTIN, TX – A local Austin resident, only known by his first name, Steve, claims a night out with friends turned into a financial nightmare when he allegedly was drugged and subsequently robbed. The unsettling incident has spurred a renewed caution to Austin’s nightlife-goers.
Steve recounted an evening in Downtown Austin, noting that he had been at Estelle’s, a popular cocktail bar on 4th Street, and one of his last memories was informing his cousin via FaceTime that he was boarding an Uber. By morning, he awoke in his own bed with a dreadful realization. His phone, along with his credit and debit cards, had vanished.
A dive into his bank records showed unfamiliar charges across several establishments and ATMs, amounting to roughly $10,000. Most distressing were a series of transactions at Walmart stores in Katy, Texas, and numerous cash withdrawals and electronic transfers. Steve’s plight became even more challenging when Chase, his banking institution, denied his third fraud claim, citing reasons like his PIN being used without any erroneous attempts and inconsistent information provided during the fraud report.
This is not an isolated incident. Earlier in February 2022, another individual experienced a similar ordeal, awakening with no recollection of the previous evening’s events and missing a substantial amount from his bank account. Furthermore, two women were apprehended in October 2022 for allegedly impersonating rideshare drivers and robbing unsuspecting passengers in Downtown Austin. Local law enforcement has since released advisories warning of such deceitful tactics.
Steve’s harrowing experience and subsequent struggles to reclaim his stolen funds serve as a stark reminder of the lurking dangers in any city’s nightlife. “It’s a cautionary tale,” Steve remarked, “This could happen to anyone. It’s vital for people to be aware and stay vigilant.”