Unusual Jobs: Lorraine Taylor is a ticket writer, menu and chalkboard artist.
Photo: Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily
Unusual Jobs: Lorraine Taylor is a ticket writer, menu and chalkboard artist. Photo: Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily Patrick Woods

Drained: How woman lost $9000 from her bank account

A 66-YEAR-OLD Pacific Paradise woman is waiting for Suncorp to return $9000 to her savings accounts stolen after her account was hacked.

Lorraine Taylor, a sign writer with contracts to 11 Sunshine Coast hotels, and her partner John were due to settle Friday on the purchase of the first home she's owned in 18 years.

That now depends on the money being returned to her account, which she is hopeful will occur on Wednesday.

Ms Taylor has worked tirelessly to help promote community opposition to the Sunshine Coast Council's proposed Twin Waters West planning scheme amendment.

She was reading emails from family early Monday morning when she decided to check whether payments from clients had been received into her savings account.

What she saw left her horrified and sick in the stomach.

In the space of an hour and a half numerous withdrawals had been made the first of which was for $5, then $1995 followed by three further withdrawals of $2000 each, the amount meant to be her daily limit, and another for $1000.

Ms Taylor immediately phoned Suncorp to put a stop to the account which was being drained off the deposit needed for the house settlement.

She then was outside the bank's doors at opening to establish what had occurred.

Ms Taylor said Suncorp officials had already accessed her files and called in their own fraud squad.

"They said it was an in-house transaction," she said.

"The money has gone to another Suncorp account and then to what they called a 'mule' account to transfer it.

"Someone knew how the system worked and accessed my account over the password.

"They said they hoped to have my funds back by Wednesday."

With settlement due on the house by Friday and with final documents waiting to be signed, Ms Taylor hopes so.

Having operated two businesses until recently she is always vigilant about managing her accounts but feels for other older people who are not as computer savvy as she is or as careful about regularly changing passwords.

"It's scary isn't it," Ms Taylor said. "I normally don't have much money in my accounts."

She said she could not speak highly enough of how Suncorp had managed the issue which was internal and had managed to over-ride her $2000 daily withdrawal limit.

"When I once went to withdraw $2800 to buy a car, I had to ratify to the bank it was me," Ms Taylor said.

"Once I realised what was happening I felt sick for about three hours worrying whether there would be any money left by time I got to the bank."


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