Scammers take thousands from Bundy woman
HADLEIGH Garnham's mum received a phone call last week from someone claiming to be Telstra who told her the internet service was down.
But the scammer was so convincing the Bundaberg woman did not suspect anything out of the ordinary and her mind was preoccupied.
After losing her husband a couple months prior, Mrs Garnham was still in the process of grieving.
"Mum normally wouldn't fall for this kind of stuff but she obviously had her mind on other things, with everything else going on,” Mr Garnham said.
"Dad handled all the technology side of things and they told her not to use her phone until they finished fixing the internet, so I was calling her all day but she didn't pick up, because they knew someone would have told her it was dodgy.”
Fortunately, Mrs Garnham had a withdrawal limit set up on her bank account but others have not been so lucky.
Compelled by what has happened to his mum, Mr Garnham wants to help raise awareness and inform the public about how to identify a scam and avoid a similar situation from occurring.
"It was lucky that her bank withdrawal limit was set to what it was because they could have stolen a lot more than what they did, but they ended up taking about $3000 from her,” he said.
"Once it happened to mum, we started hearing so many stories about people losing upwards of $11,000 or their entire life savings, so don't worry about feeling rude about hanging up the phone on someone if you aren't sure, because it will save you in the long run.”
The scammer called off an anonymous number but gave Mrs Garnham a number to call back on, but when Mr Garnham called them, the person who answered claimed to work for 7/11.
The conversation originated with a person who was fluent in English.
After Mrs Garnham agreed to accept their assistance with her "internet issue”, they transferred her through to a foreign operator, who requested the IP address and used the Team Viewer application to access Mrs Garnham's computer remotely.
"They are even starting to adopt processes that big and genuine companies use, like Telstra,” Mr Garnham said.
"Everyone just needs to be extra careful.”
National Scams Awareness Week runs from August 12 to 16.