n the morning of July 21, 2023, Tiana Storie received a call from her local bank, informing her $6,000 had been removed from her accounts.
“It was explained that someone had gotten into my account and took $770 from my chequing’s, savings, and $4,690 from my line of credit and transferred $6,000 to another account called ‘Wise’,” said Storie.
Storie shared she was informed by a financial representative “Wise” is similar to PayPal. Storie said she is now being charged interest by her bank for the money stolen.
“I had no backup plan. I have no credit card now because of that. Not only that they're charging me interest on the money that was stolen. I asked them if they could at least pause that. Essentially, they basically said it wasn't their problem.”
Storie reported her to situation to the police, and an investigation was opened.
Lethbridge Police Services recently confirmed this but because the matter was under investigation said they could not share more details.
However, Storie told the Herald several days ago the situation has been resolved. She said police contacted her to say that after they obtained a court order to gain access to accounts they were led to a man in St. Jerome, Quebec.
Storie said she was told the man “has been in trouble for similar things before so now they permanently banned his account with Wise” and that an arrest warrant was pending.
Storie emphasized she has no idea how anyone could have accessed her bank accounts. She noted she had received a suspicious spam text message but said she never opened the spam text link.
“It said ‘count regarding the card number 5*****.’ That's how it was exactly. Please visit the hyperlink, which I never even opened it. I deleted it. Because I know better.”
Storie expressed her frustration with trying to communicate with her bank’s management.
“I found out the CEO, I found out supervisors, managers, and I emailed all of them because I wasn't getting anywhere. I told them exactly what had happened. . . I contacted everyone, and the only thing they have to send me are stuff like this - ‘we're here to help’ brochures.”
Storie says the money stolen was close to six months’ worth of her wages. She said she feels she was being blamed by bank workers.
“The whole time I've been feeling personally attacked. ‘Well, you must have done this.’ ‘Oh, you must use the public computer.’ I don't use public computers for my information. I use my phone. And that's about it. I don't share my information.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Storie said she has received text messages informing her of a verification code for her credit card. She said $6,000 had reappeared into her account.
The bank was contacted for a statement but none was provided.
Storie warns others to take their money out of the bank.
“Take your money out of the bank because, obviously, you can't trust it, which I don't want to say that by any means. But I don't know what else I could have done to prevent this.”
Steffanie Costigan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lethbridge Herald