GET GEPHARDT

Utah family says their bank refuses to reimburse fraudulent charges

Feb 26, 2024, 10:12 PM | Updated: Feb 27, 2024, 5:43 am

TAYLORSVILLE — A Taylorsville family says a hacker drained thousands of dollars out of their bank accounts and left them overdrawn by tens of thousands more. They thought federal banking rules protected them, but they say their bank has refused to reimburse them for those losses.

“There were some charges on our bank account,” Drea Richardson said of her startling discovery that someone had hacked into her bank account.

That someone transferred in $5,000 and then immediately took it back out.

“So, they did that daily for a period of days,” said Drea’s husband, Adam.

Adam says he notified his bank of the suspicious activity, but it continued: $5,000 in, $5,000 back out – over and over again until the transactions became just $5,000 out.

“Just straight withdrawals – one after the other,” Drea said.

Their contact info had been changed so the Richardsons didn’t see any emails, texts, or notifications of any kind.

“Didn’t see it happening until my card…they…they stopped transactions on my checking account,” Adam said.

By that time, a total of $60,000 had been transferred out, leaving their account overdrawn by over $53,000. The Richardsons believed they were protected when they called their bank.

“They said, “OK, we’ve looked at it. It’s clearly not you,’” recounted Drea of her conversation with a bank representative. “’We’ve gone ahead and taken care of it. Your funds are safe.’”

However, the bank apparently changed its mind and decided all those transfers were authorized.

“They said, ‘Nope, there’s no fraudulent activity,’” said Drea. “’This was all done through your profile and because it was done through your personal profile, you’re responsible for this.’”

Now, Drea and Adam say they’re on the hook for that overdrawn $53,000.

“I got a letter from the bank saying that they will be pursuing with collections,” said Drea, who added the bank abruptly closed all their accounts.

Not taking that as the final answer, the Richardsons contacted me.

“To allow this many transactions to go through and approve transaction after transaction and then to turn around and say, ‘Oh no – there’s no fraudulent charge!’”

Now, if a bank won’t refund stolen money, it could be violating Regulation E. That’s a federal rule in the Electronic Fund Transfer Act saying with unauthorized transactions, banks have an obligation to restore funds.

So, the KSL Investigators reached out to the Richardsons’ bank, USAA, to ask why they’re not protected. In a statement, the bank would not share any details about this case but told us:

“USAA is committed to protecting its members from fraud and resolving issues when they occur. We investigate each incident so that we can best serve impacted members while also protecting our broader membership from any bad actors.”

The Richardsons, however, got more news. They told us after we contacted USAA, the bank credited the fraudulent transactions and is restoring the money they had in their accounts.

The Richardsons still don’t know how someone got access to their accounts, though they insist no one tricked them into sharing their account info. Even if they had, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says when someone is fraudulently induced into sharing their account access info, that transfer is still unauthorized under Regulation E.

KSL 5 TV Live

Get Gephardt

Summer travel is about to take flight. That means a whole lot of points and miles being used and ea...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Thieves are going after your frequent flier mileage: how you can safeguard those miles and points

Summer travel is about to take flight. That means a whole lot of points and miles being used and earned, and cybercriminals know it.

12 hours ago

Peggy Lundberg tells KSL’s Matt Gephardt about her experience of having her travel credit stolen....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Thieves stealing airline travel credits: How you can protect them

If someone steals your credit card or hacks into your bank account, federal law says you should get most of your money back. But what protections do you have when someone steals your airline travel credits?

1 day ago

Matt Gephardt looking over the CarShield documents for Scott Dumas....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

West Haven man says extended auto warranty refuses to cover costly engine repair

Many drivers buy an extended auto warranty to help keep their car on the road, but when the extended warranty a West Haven man bought refused to cover replacing an engine, he decided to Get Gephardt.

6 days ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Matt Gephardt

How hoarding documents puts you at risk for identity theft

Someone who knows what they’re doing can do a whole lot of damage with the scraps of paper you’ve stashed in filing cabinets, drawers and other various hiding places around your house.

6 days ago

IOC excludes Russian and Belarusian athletes from Paris 2024 Olympics opening ceremonies....

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: How to stay ahead of the 2024 Olympics scams

As Utahns know firsthand from 2002, the Olympics can be a bit chaotic with millions in an unfamiliar place. The situation is sure to entice opportunistic con men with Olympic scams.

8 days ago

FILE: construction zone...

Matt Gephardt

How to avoid hiring a bad contractor

Bobby Main investigates contractors for Utah's Division of Professional Licensing, here's his advice for avoiding bad contractors.

9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Utah family says their bank refuses to reimburse fraudulent charges