HENRICO, Virginia (WWBT) – Henrico mother and grandmother calls 12 On Your Side frustrated with her bank after waiting a month to get her money back after a hack.
In early August, Laurette Turner says she tried using her Walmart money card issued by Green Dot Bank, but was unable to withdraw money from an ATM. Turner was able to verify transactions online and saw an activity that she knew not to do.
“I have had a Walmart credit card for many years, I usually get paid 5 days before my Social Security arrives, which is why I kept the card,” Turner said. “I saw where someone had made an electronic funds transfer with a strange email, my account was hacked.”
Turner contacted the Green Dot Bank and decided to cancel his card. She was told that she could get temporary credit for the $ 500 taken from her account, if she sent a letter to Green Dot Bank explaining what had happened.
She sent the letter and, over the days with no news from the bank, contacted again.
“[They said] they had not received the letter, so I sent another one, I certified it to make sure they received it, ”she explained.
Turner called back and was told the certified letter had not been received either. She continued to contact the bank until she spoke to a company representative, and was told she would get interim credit for the money on August 20.
“This is the second time this has happened to me, the first time was Mother’s Day 2018,” she said. “I got my money back much faster. “
She is frustrated with how long it took to get her money back, as this is not the first time her Green Dot Bank card has been hacked. Turner finally received the money by paper check on September 9.
For Turner, waiting almost 4 weeks between the time his account was hacked and the day the check arrived in the mail has an impact on his household. Being down $ 500 in August, Turner was able to do his back-to-school groceries. She is raising two of her grandchildren, the children of her son, who lost their mother to violence. Ten years after the disappearance of their mother, Unique Harris, a suspect has been arrested.
The family helped Turner start an online fundraiser to support her as she continues to support children.
“I help my son raise two children who have lost their mother and I help my daughter raise her daughter,” she said. “It’s my retirement [they took], that’s all I get for myself. $ 500, I could do a lot with it.
Turner says she will no longer be banking with Green Dot. She has filed a claim with the Federal Reserve Bank, but is worried about others who might face what she has done.
“I hope I can help someone else and stand up for someone else who gets ripped off. I looked on Youtube and several people who received gift cards or Walmart credit cards didn’t never got their money back, “she said.” They took my money without my credentials, I have no idea how in the world they did it. “
Cyber security expert AJ Mojaddidi claims that hackers find many ways to gain access to accounts.
“More recently, they’re coming to mobile devices,” he said. “They actually come through apps. One way for them to get your banking information: You go to the App Store to download an app that looks like your banking app, but it really isn’t. It’s a bogus app that asks for your credentials and now the hacker has it.
He says it’s important to use 2-factor authentication to log into your bank account. 2-factor authentication requires an additional step beyond a simple password. Many businesses send a code to a phone or email address that must be entered in order to access an account.
If an account is hacked, Mojaddidi says it’s important to immediately contact your bank, freeze credit cards and your credit report, and go to the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft.gov in order to file a claim.
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