The couple’s $153 utility bill is stolen, altered and cashed for $4,523.

They called Better Call Behnken after waiting over seven months to get their money back.

HOLIDAY, FL ( — Better Call Behnken gets results for Barbara and Edward McGinnis.

In December, the couple mailed a check to pay their utility bills, but the check ended up in the wrong hands.

The check was stolen, altered, and cashed in Miami, which rose in value from $153.95 to $4,523, emptying their checking account and emptying their savings. Seven months later, their bank still hasn’t returned the money. Hours after consumer protection investigator Shannon Behnken intervened, Truist Bank returned every penny to its account.

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“Thank you very much,” said Barbara McGinnis. “You helped ignite the fire underneath them and pushed it forward. We are so grateful.”

McGinnis said that Truist had previously stated that he was working to get the money back from the scammer’s bank and if successful, they would return the money to the couple.

But after Behnken’s calls, they received a call from the bank and were told that they had decided to return all the money.

A spokeswoman for Truist Bank sent this statement:

All financial institutions across the country are experiencing an escalation of fraudulent attacks by criminals. At Truist, protecting our customers and their accounts remains a top priority, and we take any potential fraud concerns seriously.

The Federal Trade Commission recently reported that consumers lost almost $8.8 billion due to fraud in 2022, up more than 30 percent from the previous year. That’s why we continue to diligently educate our customers about the current scams faced by many consumers in the industry and share resources on how they can protect their accounts and personal information.

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The McGinnies are the third to recently call Better Call Behnken about checks that were stolen and forged after they were delivered to the local post office. In Tampa, Michael Musetta’s $28 Florida Blue check was cashed for $4,200.

Bobby Barnes’ $511 money order to pay for his car was altered and cashed in the name of a stranger.

In both cases, their financial institutions did not return the money until they got a call from Better Call Behnken.

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