Man's warning: Elderly mum and dad scammed by 'friends'
A BUNDABERG man has put out a warning to others after he says his elderly parents were scammed by people pretending to be friends.
The man, who wished to remain anonymous, told the NewsMail a pair who had befriended his parents had asked to visit from out of town.
His mother agreed and one night the group went out to dinner at a local restaurant.
It was then he said the male of the pair advised he was feeling tired and asked if he could stay back at the house.
The man who spoke to the NewsMail said the partner of the man who stayed back at the house had tried to draw things out at dinner as much as possible.
Later, they would find money missing in their family home.
"He stole a large amount of money my mother had hidden in the house," the man told the NewsMail.
"He lied and said he didn't do it."
The man said the situation was further complicated when his parents asked for the money back and the couple in question reported his parents to police, claiming they were running a scam by saying the missing money was stolen by them.
The man said his parents' situation was difficult because to have any evidence of the theft, they would have to have CCTV, a witness or a confession.
Describing the experience as like an attack by "a wolf in sheep's clothing", the man said vulnerable, older people were at risk.
He said once people would hold you up with a weapon to steal money, but now things were much more sophisticated, saying scammers could utilise bank statements, credit cards and bank cards to gain information and access to money.
"This new form of crime is happening around us, there are too many people committing too many crimes," the man said.
He said it was no longer the case that an elderly person could invite someone in for a cuppa and trust their intentions.
"You can't do that anymore because you don't know who is friend or foe," he said.
You may be approached online or in a face-to-face environment daily by fraudsters offering opportunities. There are many forms of fraud and a skilled fraudster will invest time and energy to gain your trust and access to your information.
According to police, fraudsters may be introduced by friends who have already invested with them and be unaware they are being defrauded themselves, or located through social media profiles.
Random email scam campaigns are also a proven method for fraudsters.
You can never be sure whether an opportunity is real or not but, there are simple strategies you can take to reduce the potential of being "ripped off".
Strategies include questioning everything, especially things that seem too good to be true, and seeking legal advice.