Walkerston retiree duped in five-hour phone scam
A scammer has duped a Walkerston retiree out of about $10,000 after a five-hour phone call.
The resident was on their home computer about 3.20pm on February 19 when they saw a pop-up message indicating an online Amazon account they owned had been accidentally charged for a purchase they had not made.
The scammer told the resident they were entitled to a refund and provided a phone number to make refund arrangements.
During a subsequent phone conversation, a man claiming to be an employee from the online auction business persuaded the resident to download a program that allowed for remote access to the home computer.
Senior Constable Steve Smith said the scammer told the resident the download was necessary for the refund payment to occur.
"The resident witnessed remote control of the home computer take effect," he said.
"They observed a refund payment take place but the payment was 10 times the size of the alleged amount entitled to.
"The resident was persuaded to immediately travel to their bank to withdraw this overpaid amount and then deposit it into the relevant business account belonging to the online auction organisation."
Sen-Const Smith said the scammer maintained phone contact with the victim the entire time, providing specific instructions about what to say to staff while making each transaction.
He said when the resident experienced technical difficulties on their mobile device while performing a transaction, the scammer encouraged them to seek help from other nearby customers and the transactions took place.
"The end result of these actions was that the Walkerston resident has lost a significant amount of money from their own bank accounts, having withdrawn and transferred their own money after following instructions provided," he said.
Advice from the Financial and Cyber Crime Group to safeguard from this offending:
- Never allow anyone to remote access into your device.
- Be wary of unsolicited phone calls or messages requesting personal information or asking you to make contact.
- Always verify details and information independently, such as looking up their phone number on a website.
- Do not provide any of your banking access information to anyone.
- Do not conduct any money transfers if instructed by anyone.
- Do not conduct any money deposits in person if instructed by anyone.
If you've been a victim of an online scam, go to ReportCyber.
If you have lost money, notify your bank immediately.