CARY, NC (WNCN) – Having money disappear from your bank account has got to be one of the scariest things that can happen financially – and that’s exactly what happened to a local couple who had to do it twice in two weeks.
Hackers electronically entered Joe and Lorraine Cenzoprano’s bank account.
“I got a debit notice for $1,503 and I was like really, I don’t recognize that,” Joe Cenzoprano said.
He thought he could solve the problem by calling the bank.
“I spent hours on the phone with Truist,” he said. “They have launched an investigation.”
However, the Cary couple did not get their money back until his wife dealt with a bank official at a bank branch.
“They returned the money a week later after Lorraine went to the bank in person,” he said. “Then things accelerated.”
Lorraine Cenzoprano spoke about the experience.
“I had to leave my job and go to an in-person meeting and it took time out of my day,” Lorraine said.
Then, while the bank was investigating the theft of $1,503 from their account, another $900 disappeared.
“I was like what? Jo said. “It was a Zelle transaction, and I don’t use Zelle.”
“We never used that,” Lorraine added.
With Truist, Zelle transactions are offered as part of its mobile banking app.
“To create a Zelle account and send someone $900, it basically had to be me,” Joe said.
CBS 17 consumer investigator Steve Sbraccia contacted Truist with several questions, such as which bank was hacked.
Truist spokeswoman Shelley Miller said: “We are not experiencing any widespread system issues related to the fraud.”
CBS 17 also asked what the bank is doing to protect customer accounts.
“We strive to detect and prevent fraud, including providing prompts in the user experience to help customers identify red flags that may indicate scams,” Miller said.
Sbraccia also wanted to know what a customer should do if they find themselves in a situation similar to the Cary couple.
Miller said, “We provide tools, tips and resources on our website that customers can visit to learn more.”
The bank also told Sbraccia that Truist would escalate the couple’s complaint so they can get their $900 back.
Experts also say people should proactively protect online bank accounts by doing the following:
- Install anti-malware software on devices
- Take advantage of fraud detection offered by the bank
- Never use public Wi-Fi as hackers can intercept banking transactions