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New Orleans woman has phone stolen and her bank account hacked while visiting daughter in Lafayette | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – A New Orleans woman wants to bring awareness and hopes the person responsible for stealing her phone and hacking her bank account is caught by authorities.

64-year-old Cindy Simoneaux was visiting her daughter in Lafayette on July 20th. However, during her visit, she did not expect things to happen as they did. 

“It’s actually overwhelming that you think you have privacy using your username and password when you do your banking online, but evidently, it is not secure,” says Simoneaux. “My phone was stolen, not my debit card, nothing else. Just my phone, and somehow they were able to get into my Chase banking and take money out of it and change my address. Add a new phone number and add a new checking account. I mean the whole work.” 

Simoneaux says that while at her daughter’s home, a man offered to cut her grass. “My daughter doesn’t know him. Just kinda recruited him because he went around asking people if they needed their grass cut she told him he could cut the grass,” she explained. “When he was finished cutting the grass, it was excruciatingly hot outside, and he asked if he could come in to get some ice water.” 

Simoneaux said she did not know where her daughter was at the time, but she went to the bathroom to check on a little girl, and when she walked back outside, she noticed the man and her phone were gone. “I mean, two minutes, and when I walked back outside, the bathroom was right there in the hallway where he was; my phone was gone. That quick, he took my phone,” she said. 

Simoneaux filed a police report after getting a new phone, but less than 24 hours later, the thief had already gotten into her Chase banking account. “I checked my Chase account, and I can see where they withdrew or transferred the $2700 into another account,” she said. 

She said the bank closed the account, but she doesn’t know where the money went. 

“After I went to the bank and changed the address back to my correct address, re-ordered checks, ordered a new debit card, and they were able to access it some kind of way,” she said.

The person even managed to still steal her new debit card number before receiving it in the mail. She said they put the information on the Cash App and PayPal which she never used. 

She said the address the person used was “Sutton Bank,” but the address was in the 800 block of Omega Drive. Simoneaux recalls the home being involved in a fire in May. Lafayette Fire Department responded and mentioned at least six individuals occupied the home and were unharmed. 

She adds she is hoping the police find the person responsible and she is working with the bank to try to recuperate the $2700, but they don’t know where it went. 

“I want the public to be aware that; to take precautions with their phones. Imma be 65. I’m not used to all this new technology. I didn’t think that having just an app on my phone if I had my username and password that nobody had, I didn’t think that they could access it,” said Simoneaux. “The public just has to be aware of those banking apps that are on your phone or not as secure as you think they are.” 

The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating. News 10 reached out to Chase Bank headquarters, and we are awaiting a response. 


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