MILWAUKIE — A computer hacker this summer breached the bank account of a Portland-area group of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women and absconded with $345.

Marianne Prom, treasurer of the ACCW regional group, says the digital theft occurred June 29, while she was away. By the time Prom received notice of the sketchy withdrawal and reached the bank, Wells Fargo officials said the deed could not be undone and the women’s group would need to absorb the loss.

Prom, a member of St. John the Baptist Parish in Milwaukie, said that $345 is a lot of money to the group, about a quarter of its entire savings.

ACCW filed a police report and asked the bank to reconsider.

“The only time we take money out is if we write a check,” said Prom. “We never go in and withdraw. We don’t have a credit card.”

The bank allowed what the hacker called a business transfer.

“That should have raised red flags,” Prom said. “You have to be so careful.”

The account is used mostly to give a stipend to visiting priests or contribute to good causes like clean water in Africa and anti-human trafficking projects.

At first the Wells Fargo branch on McLoughlin Boulevard in Milwaukie refused to restore the money to the charitable organization but then promised to take a new look. The bank then credited the money back on July 29. 



“The security of our customers’ accounts is a top priority,” said David Kennedy, a spokesman for Wells Fargo in the Pacific Northwest. “We urge consumers to be vigilant, monitor their accounts, and report anything that doesn’t look right to their financial institutions as soon as possible.”