WAKEFIELD (CBS) – It was two weeks before Christmas in 2018. Kyle Bertoni was paying bills on Bank of America’s website, and watched $6300 disappear from his savings account.
Kyle told the I-Team his heart dropped when he realized the money was transferred out of his account to an account he had never seen before.
The Wakefield dad says he immediately called Bank of America. He also reported the theft to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and filed a police report.
Police told Kyle detectives were able to trace the account to a burner phone.
Kyle says Bank of America told him it detected a virus on his computer, but refused to refund the money, claiming he authorized the transaction.
Despite three other attempts to get Bank of America to re-open his claim, nothing changed.
Cyber Security Expert Peter Tran says the fraud likely happened through a targeted infection on his mobile phone or laptop that allowed the thieves to harvest his credentials.
The I-Team obtained Kyle’s bank records which showed the withdrawal but didn’t show where the money was sent. We asked Bank of America to re-open Kyle’s claim and within weeks the bank sent him a check.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Kyle told WBZ. “I felt like I won the lottery.”
To reduce the chance of becoming a victim, Tran recommends updating your apps and anti-virus software. He also suggests consumers set up a two-step verification system with your name and password along with a one-time code that is sent to your mobile number.
As for Kyle, he says the experience was scary and could happen to anyone. “I can’t express my gratitude enough to you and how much you helped us,” Kyle said.
A recent Federal Trade Commission Report showed fraudulent takeovers of consumers’ accounts is continuing to rise. The agency cautions, as cyber thieves become more sophisticated, consumers must become more vigilant.