by: Field Sutton, WFTV Web Staff Updated: Aug 1, 2017 – 6:40 PM
MARION COUNTY, Fla. – A local Marion County couple, who Eyewitness News chose not to identify, filed a lawsuit against CenterState Bank of Florida for allegedly allowing hackers to steal $53,000 in a house down payment.
The couple ended up victims of what hackers call a “spear phishing attack.
The couple said they got an email from someone they thought was their closing agent, giving them new information on when and where to send the down payment. The email had the agent’s name, license number and banking information.
The couple said they were suspicious, so they walked into the bank to double check the email and the couple said they were told to go ahead and send the money.
“We don’t exactly know how they (the hackers) did it. All we know is they had the people, they had the numbers, they had the logo, they had everything,” said Tucker Byrd, an attorney for the couple.
By the time the couple realized they sent the money to hackers, the couple said the bank’s only response was, “Go get it back yourself.”
Byrd said the bank failed the most basic duty of protecting customers’ money. The lawsuit claims the bank knew about this spear-phishing scam at the time; even posting about the scam on its website.
CenterState Bank of Florida couldn’t be reached for comment on this story.
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