LOCAL NEWS

Lehi woman’s bank account drained nearly a year after smash-and-grab burglary

Jan 21, 2022, 7:14 AM

LEHI, Utah — A Lehi woman is sharing a warning for others after her bank account was cleaned out by an identity thief who impersonated her at several Utah County banks. It’s how the thief got the woman’s information, which she fears means there are many other victims out there.

The suspect hit up a handful of Altabank branches, getting away with withdrawing more than $12,000 in cash this week.

Moneka Pace is what you’d call cautious — well, in her words, paranoid.

“I’m so paranoid about it. I hate to be obsessive, but that’s kind of where it’s driven me,” she said, sitting at her kitchen table with her laptop in front of her Thursday evening.

She finds herself constantly logging into her bank account to check the transactions and balance, after $12,200 disappeared from her savings account on Tuesday.

Pace found out that someone impersonated her at the drive-thrus at the Altabank branches in Lehi, American Fork and Pleasant Grove. The female fraudster was finally stopped at the Altabank in Alpine.

“I was surprised at how easy … how easily it was done,” Pace reacted.

Especially because, she’d already taken every step to prevent this from happening after what happened to Pace last year.

Ten months ago, Pace’s car was broken into and a burglar stole her purse before draining her HSA account by purchasing gift cards at pharmacies.

Pace wasn’t the only victim. Police told her at the time it was part of a multicounty smash-and-grab ring.

Car Burglars Use Stolen HSA Cards For Spending Spree

She canceled all of her cards and registered her ID as stolen with the DMV, which reissued her a new driver’s license.

“I thought it was done and over with,” Pace explained. “I’m going, ‘Really, did this just happen again?! Am I really doing this all over again?!'”

She’s back in the same spot, nearly a year later.

“They had been using my stolen ID and my stolen debit card, which both had been canceled and reported stolen,” Pace said.

Altabank explains that suspects in identity thefts like this one are growing more sophisticated in their tactics. Chief Marketing Officer Stan Sorensen said that these people typically do their homework, by researching the person they’re impersonating as much as possible.

Whoever posed as Pace at the four drive-thrus Tuesday, Sorensen indicated, knew enough about Pace to pass as her and withdraw anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 at three of the locations.

“She was able to convince a couple of our tellers that she really was the person whose ID she presented,” he said.

It was the fourth stop in Alpine where Sorensen said an experienced bank teller knew something wasn’t adding up.

“She actually said to the suspect, ‘You’re going to need to come inside so that we can finish this transaction,'” Sorensen said. “And that was enough to scare this suspect away.”

Each branch called police in the respective cities and filed reports.

Sorensen said that Pace did everything right after her bank card was stolen, including calling the bank right away, putting a watch on the account, canceling the card and requesting a replacement.

He said the bank offers additional safety checks for customers, including requiring a passphrase that only the bank and customer know.

It’s important to frequently check bank account balances and transactions, Sorenson explained, and keep an eye out for anything strange.

Altabank is replacing the money, which means the bank is out that $12,200 instead of Pace.

While Pace is relieved to be receiving her funds back, she’s sharing a message to help protect others: You can never be too paranoid when it comes to your money, and your identity.

“Just put all your measures in place,” she said. “They could still have your information and be out to do more harm.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

...
Matt Rascon, KSL TV

Pleasant Grove tattoo artist used work to help others before her murder

A mother who police say was shot and killed by her son in Pleasant Grove Thursday night, used her artwork as a tattoo artist to help others heal from past trauma.
1 day ago
USA Climbing competition in SLC on May 21st, 2022...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

World’s best climbers in SLC for competition

It's the perfect time for Salt Lake to be at the forefront of the sport’s popularity.
1 day ago
(Davis County Sheriff's Office)...
Merri Moeller, KSL TV

Murder suspect wished he’d used sharper knife in stabbings, court docs say

A man in custody after stabbing two women including a woman he’d met on Tinder made some chilling statements about the attacks to police, court documents show.
1 day ago
The scene of the South Jordan paraglider accident....
Michael Houck, KSL TV

Man flown to hospital in South Jordan skydiving accident

One man is in critical condition due to a skydiving accident on Saturday afternoon according to officials.
1 day ago
SLCPD confiscated an air soft gun after reports of the suspect pointing a rifle at people. (Photo: ...
Michael Houck, KSK TV

Salt Lake City officers respond to person pointing rifle at people

Salt Lake City police responded to multiple calls of a person pointing a rifle at people Friday night, only to find it was an airsoft gun.
1 day ago
Two men dead, three hospitalized after a North Ogden pursuit (Credit - North Ogden Police)...
Michael Houck, KSL TV

Two dead, three hospitalized after a North Ogden pursuit

Two men are dead after fleeing from a traffic stop and crashing into a tree in North Ogden Saturday morning, according to North Ogden police.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Make Money Online Easily...

4 Ways that You Can Make Money Online Easily in Just a Few Clicks

Here are 4 ways that you can make money online easily in no time at all! Some are as simple as just a few clicks away.
tips to winterize your home...
Bonneville Digital SLC

Tips to Winterize Your Home | The Top 5 Ways You Can Prepare for the Cold Utah Winter Ahead

Before the snow hits, here are the top 5 tips to winterize your home to prepare for the cold Utah winter this year.
Lehi woman’s bank account drained nearly a year after smash-and-grab burglary