BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A woman's Walmart gift card has turned into a financial nightmare. The customer says someone hacked into her bank account through a gift card from the retail giant.
Karren Reynolds' life is in limbo. Someone hacked into her Walmart gift card, when she was re-loading it online to by gifts, and stole her identity.
"Somebody took my debit card and re-loaded the gift card and purchased two iTunes gift cards," she said.
Karren's paperwork clearly shows, she re-loaded her Walmart account and a short time later, someone else also re-loaded the card from her bank account to make an unauthorized purchase.
When Karren spotted the discrepancy, she called Walmart customer service and the rep told her, she would block the unauthorized charge from going through. But Karren told News the Walmart rep did not stop the bogus charge from going through, and the hacker eventually got into her e-mail, changed her password, and all of her accounts are frozen.
And if that wasn't enough, the hacker took the ripoff a step further, sending e-mails to Karren's entire contact list, telling people about her predicament and to please wire her $2,800 U.S. by Western Union, to where she was staying on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Even Karren's son was baffled when he got the e-mail.
"He is in the Navy and he said, 'I think I would have known if you went out of the country.' I did text everybody to tell them please don't open these because they were not from me," Karren explained.
When wiring money like that, it can actually be retrieved anywhere in the world.
But, at the same time, Karren says, "It is scary, it really is. They know everything about me, now."
She is now getting help from the Sheriff's CyberCrimes unit. Walmart officials investigated Karren's losses and have promised to replace her lost funds and her bank is giving her a new debit card.
"They did not close the account out, but they did change my debit card, and that is going to take three-to-five days to get here. So until then I won't be doing anything," she said.
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