DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Harriet Reese says the phone calls and emails are frustrating, but she is desperate for answers and a refund after a hacker used a mobile payment service app to swipe hundreds of dollars from her bank account.
"It happened just a few dollars at a time. $15 one minute, $10 the next minute. $5 the next minute, then $100 and then they just kept going until there was nothing left to take for my account," Reese told FOX 5's Portia Bruner.
The DeKalb County Walmart employee told Bruner she had no idea someone had used the popular mobile payment service Cash App to siphon funds from her account on Jan. 16, 2019. Suddenly, the call came from her bank, Woodforest International.
"They told me my account had been hacked, all these transactions starting at 4:15 p.m. until 5:15. They got $706 from me and somehow they intercepted $120 my nephew tried to send me on cash app the same day," said Reese.
Reese filed a police report with DeKalb County, then spent the next two weeks jumping over financial hurdles.
"I'm paycheck-to-paycheck. That was supposed to be bill money. I had to hold off on direct deposit and hold off on things that were due. If it hadn't been for my friends helping me out with lunch and gas, I would have been in a world of trouble," Reese told Bruner.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr suggests consumers who use mobile payment services take several steps to reduce their risk for financial transaction fraud. "They should monitor their financial accounts daily for unusual activity and use two-factor authentication options when possible," Carr said in a statement to FOX 5.
The attorney general also advises consumers to secure passwords and avoid leaving phones or laptops unattended – even when the screen is locked.
Reese said she is grateful her bank recently refunded more than $700 of the money taken from her account, but she said a bank official told her Cash App would be responsible for the $120 transaction.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a spokesman for Cash App told FOX 5's Portia Bruner the company could not explain what went wrong without looking further into Reese's complaint. He said the company "takes the matter very seriously and will investigate."