‘My account was hacked:’ Woman frustrated with delays getting money back from bank

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 9:46 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2021 at 6:51 PM EDT
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - A 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 to use her Walmart money card issued by Green Dot Bank, but wasn’t able to get money out of an ATM. Turner was able to check transactions online and saw activity that she know she did not do.

“I have been having a Walmart money card for many many years, I usually get paid 5 days before my social security comes in so that is why I kept the card,” said Turner. “I saw where someone had done an electronic funds transfer with a strange email, my account was hacked.”

Turner contacted Green Dot Bank and decided to cancel her card. She was told she could get a provisional credit for the $500 taken from her account, if she sent a letter to Green Dot Bank explaining what happened.

She sent the letter, and as days passed without hearing from the bank, she reached out again.

“[They said] they hadn’t received the letter, so I sent another, one, I did it certified to make sure they got it,” she explained.

Turner called again, and was told the certified letter had not been received either. She kept reaching out to the bank until she spoke to a corporate representative, and was told she would get a provisional credit for the money on August 20th.

“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 quicker.”

She is frustrated with how long it took to get her money back, because this is not the first time her Green Dot Bank card has been hacked. Turner eventually got the money in a paper check on September 9th.

For Turner, waiting almost 4 weeks from the time her account was hacked to the day the check came in the mail, impacts her household. Being down $500 in August, impacted Turner being able to do back to school shopping. She is raising two of her grandchildren, her son’s children, who lost their mother to violence. Ten years after their mother, Unique Harris disappeared, a suspect has been arrested.

Family helped Turner start an online fundraiser to support her as she continues to support the children.

“I am helping my son raise two children that lost their mother and I am helping my daughter raise her daughter,” she said. “That is my retirement [they took], that is all I get for myself. $500, I could do a lot with.”

Turner says she will no longer be banking with Green Dot. She filed a claim with the Federal Reserve Bank, but worries for others who may face what she did.

“Hopefully I can help someone else and advocate for someone else that is being scammed. I looked on Youtube and several people who have gotten gift cards, or Walmart money cards never got their money back,” she said. “They took my money out without my credentials, I have no idea how in the world they did it.”

Cyber Security expert A.J. Mojaddidi with Key Cyber Solutions, says hackers are finding many ways to get into accounts.

“Most recently they are coming through on mobile devices,” he said. “They are actually coming in through apps. One way they come in to get your banking information--you go to the app store to download an app that looks like your bank app, but it is really not. It is a fake app that asks for your credentials and now the hacker has it.

He says it is important to use 2-factor authentication in order to log in to your bank account. 2-factor authentication requires an extra step beyond just a password. Many companies send a code to a phone or e-mail that has to be inputted in order to access an account.

If an account is hacked, Mojaddidi says it is 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.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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