Thousands stolen from accounts through banking app hacking

(WAND) – Hackers are accessing a mobile banking app and stealing thousands of dollars, consumers say.

NBC Chicago reports Zelle, which seven big-name U.S. banks own together, has been the target of money thefts. It’s a service that people who use it say carries a lot of risk, even though it’s convenient and allows the near-instant transfer of money to other people. Over 100 banks across the country use the service.

Zelle, which began in 2017, and banks says the app should only be used with people who consumers feel they can trust. 

Dave Fogler told the station he saw $3,900 disappear from his Bank of America account. He says it was a fraudulent transfer from a person named Herman Wong.

He filled out a police report and called the bank, which he says wouldn’t approve his claim twice. Bank of America did ask him to scan his computer for a possible virus.

Veta Slaton, a great-grandmother from the Chicago area, said she lost an entire month’s $1,400 check in a fraudulent transaction. She claims the bank wouldn’t help and pointed a finger at her when she reported it.

NBC Chicago called both Chase and Bank of America, which wouldn’t say why it denied the claims, but later credited a combined total of $5,300 to the two people.

Early Warning Services, the company that runs Zelle, told the station that it hasn’t seen many thefts when compared to the overall traffic it gets. Experts believe hackers are able to steal money successfully because the app is so fast, giving them an edge over police, and EWS told the station it doesn’t think a built-in delay would help.

NBC Dallas-Fort Worth offered steps for how people should respond to fraudulent activity. They say people should call the bank right away, file a report with police and then call the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau if they believe the bank isn’t helping.