At 92 years old, Betty Longshore is very much alive and kicking, so she was surprised to find out her bank thought she was dead.
“The first thing that happened was the bank called me and said they received a notice I had died and would I come down to the bank, so I did,” the Port Angeles, Wash., woman told ABCNews.com. ”It was sort of comical. I went into the bank and said, ‘Here I am, I’m alive!’”
But presenting herself at her local First Federal branch wasn’t enough to get back the nearly $17,000 the government had taken from her account for direct deposit payments she had received after her supposed death.
“The bank’s customer service representative called civil service and Social Security with me sitting there and assured them I was alive,” she said.
After answering a stream of questions that verified her identity, Longshore was told by a perplexed employee that she would receive her money back. The 92-year-old said the money was placed back in its rightful spot–her bank account–today.
“You wouldn’t think that this could happen,” she said. Longshore pressed for answers on how she was reported dead and found out it happened “all because someone pressed the wrong button.”
The nonagenarian, who was a World War II clerk with top secret security clearance, is active in a politics roundtable group, where she has shared her experience.
“I’m hoping something will change in civil service,” she said. “They need some verification of death.”