TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Brenda Wallace fought for more than three months to get all of her money back after a crook hacked into the company computer and accessed its bank account. A week after Better Call Behnken got involved, every penny is back.
“I am so relieved,” Wallace said. “This has been so stressful.”
Wallace owns Care One Health Options in Tampa. Her company offers in-home care to people with disabilities. In September, and again in October, she said a thief hacked into her computer and accessed her online Regions Bank account. The crooks helped themselves to a total of $142,000.
The first transaction was for $50,000 on Sept. 22. Wallace said the bank called her after the money was gone to confirm whether the transfer to someone’s credit card was legit.
When she answered no, she said the bank started an investigation. But on Oct. 12, there was another wire transfer of $92,000 to a nail salon.
In November, Regions recovered the $50,000 but her claim for the rest was denied, with the bank saying the transfer was “authorized using agreed-upon security procedures.” That’s something Wallace doesn’t agree with.
Investigator Shannon Behnken reached out to Regions and was told they could not discuss the details because of privacy concerns. However, after they reviewed the case again, Regions sent this statement:
“While banks can attempt to recover wired funds, there is often little that any bank can do to recover funds after they have left the bank.
We thoroughly investigate any reported fraud, but these investigations do take time, and we apologize for any inconvenience customers may experience during the process. Because our investigations depend in part on the information provided in the claim, we encourage customers to include a complete description of the suspected fraud so we can fully review each claim as quickly as possible.
As always, we remind businesses and consumers alike to closely safeguard their account information, including the credentials they use to access online banking. Also, watch out for scammers trying to convince people to hand over account information, and do not click on links in emails or texts unless you are certain you know the sender and the message is legitimate.
Steps such as these can help businesses and consumers alike reduce their risks of becoming a victim of fraud.”
Meanwhile, things changed for Wallace. Regions called her to say they decided to credit her account the $92,000 after all. And they did – the very next day.