SPRING HILL, Tenn. (WSMV) — A small business is being forced to close after the owners said a bank hacker drained their entire savings from their personal and business accounts.
Bill Walsh and his wife Pam Jordan have owned Soulmates and Sawdust in Spring Hill over the past five years, selling their handmade jewelry and woodworking. The couple had just completed a rebranding of the business in October when Pam got a text alert from Truist about potential fraud with their accounts.
Within a couple of days, the hackers had spent and wired thousands of dollars out of their bank accounts, Jordan said. That caused countless checks to bounce and left them unable to pay their bills.
“All of our money was combined into one account and then wired out of our accounts,” Jordan said. “Within a couple of days, we were wiped out.”
“It just devastated us,” Walsh said. “You can’t operate a business with no capital.”
Walsh and Jordan said they spent almost three months battling with Truist to get the money returned, after being surprised there were not precautions in place to automatically refund any fraud loss.
The lack of money kept them from being able to restock the store or even pay their mortgage, Walsh said. Beyond closing the store, they’ve been forced to sell their home and possibly move out of the area.
“We poured our heart and soul and retirement into it, and now we have to close it,” Jordan said with a tear running down her face. “It just put us over the edge. We can’t come back from this.”
Truist was finally able to return all the stolen money to Walsh and Jordan a few days before Christmas, but that was too late to save the business, the couple said. They’ve put everything in the store on clearance and are hoping to find a new tenant for their building.
Walsh and Jordan said the community’s support during this tough time has been heartwarming, and many people have stepped up to help buy their remaining products in-store and online.
“Customers have been coming in in tears because of what is happening to us and because they are losing one of their favorite stores in Spring Hill,” Walsh said.
WSMV reached out to Truist to see why it took so long to return the money and what people can do to prevent this from happening to them. We have not yet gotten a response.
Walsh and Jordan are just hopeful wire fraud like this doesn’t happen to anyone else as they move on to a new chapter in their life.
“It just kept building,” Jordan said. “It started out like many of us have experienced, just getting a text from the bank saying, ‘we see fraudulent activity or suspicious activity on your card.’”
Copyright 2022 WSMV. All rights reserved.