A Miller County, Arkansas family's back to school preparations didn't go exactly as planned after they say hackers emptied out their Walmart money card. The Bustin family says they've used their Walmart "Green Dot" money card for three years without problems, until now.
The card is advertised as simple to use and easily reloadable, but the family is quickly learned, getting their money back wasn't as easy.
"We went school clothes shopping and our card was declined," said Gena and Roger Bustin. It was a nasty surprise for the couple, who lives paycheck to paycheck and suddenly found themselves nearly $800.00 short.
"Everything was taken off the card," Gena explained that it was money that had been direct deposited onto the card that same day. After checking their transactions, the Bustins discovered someone used their money to purchase an iPad in Brooklyn, New York, leaving the family of five with nothing. "Oh it's hard. It's definitely hard," said Gena.
"We are borrowing money from other people, who probably don't have a whole bunch. But they are generous, our family, to let us borrow their money," said Roger.
The family filed a complaint with Walmart, but they were told it could take up to 18 days to even get an answer back.
"What does a guy do for 15 to 18 days when they are living paycheck to paycheck?" said Shreveport Better Business Bureau President Andy Fisher warns this situation could happen to anyone with a Walmart money card. "I don't know how to solve this problem, that's the only thing we can do alert people that this is out there," said Fisher and explained that the money card is a Visa card, and normally Visa will stop fraudulent actions immediately and refund money. But as the Bustin's learned, you have to go through Walmart first, which delays the process by weeks. Fisher recommends skipping the middle man and using a regular bank debit card.
"This could happen to you," Fisher warned, referring to the Bustin's situation, but the Bustin's hope it doesn't. They want others to learn from their troubles and keep a close eye on their accounts. "We have friends and family who were able to help us, where others may not," said Gena.
There is a happy ending to the Bustin's story, Green Dot, the company that operates the Walmart money cards credited their account for the money they lost, after 3 weeks of waiting. Green Dot says anyone who experiences suspicious behavior on their card should contact them immediately so that the company can investigate it promptly in order to start the refund process.