Woman's bank account wiped out by hacker pretending to be bank representative

Rosemarie Hall believed her bank was warning her about a possible fraud alert.


A Pennsylvania woman’s bank account was cleaned out and closed by a hacker pretending to be a bank representative Monday.

Rosemarie Hall shared her story with sister station WTAE. She says she believed PNC Bank was warning her about a possible fraud alert, but the opposite was actually happening.

“The fact is I have zero dollars. Every account with my name on it is zero or negative,” Hall said.

On Monday, Hall got a text from what she thought was PNC saying her debit card was attempted to be used at Walmart in another state.

“I’ve gotten similar texts like that before from many companies, so I texted no,” Hall said.

In fact, the message was on the same text chain she regularly uses with PNC. Then minutes later, a man, who said he was with the bank, called about the same fraud alert confirming her card was being used.

“He knew all of my security questions for PNC. He asked them,” Hall said.

After going through those steps, Hall says she was told it was a mobile app issue, and the representative needed her user ID, but she still wanted to make sure it was legit.

“I said, 'how do I know you are from PNC?' He said, 'well you can look up the number, and I looked up the number, and the number he was calling me from was the number that was on the back of my debit card,” Hall said.

Hall gave the caller her user ID, and seconds later, she was hacked.

“Boom, boom, boom … that's when everything happened,” Hall said.

Hall's password was changed, her money was gone and her account was locked. She dialed back the same exact number, but this time, she got the real PNC.

“I feel like I am a smart person, and I feel like I am safe. This seemed real,” Hall said.

WTAE spoke to a cyber expert about these types of cases. He says you should always be suspicious.

“These people are sophisticated, and people who have plenty of cyber training in their jobs sometimes fall prey to this stuff. We see it with big companies, people in government, politics, you name it,” said Chris Deluzio, the policy director at Pitt Cyber.

WTAE reached out to PNC about Hall’s case. They said they provided the information to its security group and are further investigating.

As of Tuesday night, Hall said nothing has been resolved and she has not been refunded.

“Our money is gone and my 90-year-old mother who lives off of social security, because my name is on her account, and this is what I am most upset about, because my name is on her account, her money was stolen also and that is not OK. I don’t want this to happen to anybody else. People need to know,” Hall said.