A woman has been left "with nothing at all" after fraudsters hacked into her online bank accounts.

The 44-year-old has been left with a balance of just $17 - and she can't even spend that as her accounts have been frozen.

It is believed the hackers have gained access to several people's Bank of Bermuda accounts via the bank's website.

Their distraught female victim, a sales manager from Smith's, is now warning others to be on their guard as "it could happen to you".

The woman, who does not want to be named, said the Bank of Bermuda would not tell her "how or when it happened".

But an employee did say: "Don't worry, you're not the only one."

The victim said: "My whole heart just sank when I was told. I felt a little violated - like someone had invaded my privacy.

"Most of all it's a huge annoyance, a real nuisance. It's extremely inconvenient not having access to any money.

"I no longer have access to anything, I feel helpless.

"It isn't just me, other people have been affected."

The woman, who uses internet banking, realized something was "not quite right" when she checked her accounts online on Monday, April 27. The website told her accounts had been suspended.

The next day she received a call from the bank admitting that her "accounts had been hacked into and they had to shut everything down".

She has three accounts with the Bank of Bermuda - a checking account with a balance of less than $500, a Mastercard account with a $2000 limit and a loan account with outgoing payments.

The woman does not know "what has been done to which accounts" but she has been told that she only has $17 left.

All three of her accounts have been frozen for more than a week while Bank of Bermuda investigate.

The victim said: "The most frustrating thing is that no one will answer my questions. I am not being told anything.

"I have had no access to any money, everything has been shut down.

"They left me with $17 but I can't even get to that, I have nothing at all.

"I live pay cheque to pay cheque and I've had to borrow from friends and family."

The woman has been told she will soon be given a new debit card and can re-register for online banking by the end of the week.

But she is very wary about continuing to use the service.

She said: "We all use the internet to pay bills each month - it's convenient as it saves so much time.

"But I'm not sure I want to register again, this has made me think about going back to using cheques to pay my bills.

"It's happened to me, it can happen to anyone. I just don't know how it happened, it makes you think."

Susan Jackson, the Bank of Bermuda's public relations manager, would not comment on specific client accounts.

She said: "Our internet banking system provides a high level of security. As with our debit and credit card systems, we monitor clients' online access on a continual basis to ensure that the activity is consistent with the client's normal use.

"In the event of unusual activity, we immediately block access and contact the client(s) to verify that they did authorize the transaction.

"Where the clients did not authorize the transaction, we ask the clients to close and reopen their accounts and debit/credit cards under new account numbers.

"These incidents are very rare and typically they are caught prior to any funds being lost."

To minimize your risk to online fraud, do not share passwords and ensure passwords cannot be easily guessed.

Virus and spyware software should be up to date and operating, online purchases should be made through reputable firms and online bank accounts should not be visited while in internet cafés.