The would-be thieves almost got away with thousands. File photo.
The would-be thieves almost got away with thousands. File photo. Robyn.Wallish

Toowoomba woman left traumatised after scammers strike

A TOOWOOMBA woman has described her run-in with would-be scammers as traumatising.

Karen Antrobus, 61, spent yesterday breathing a sigh of relief after those initially posing as representatives of Telstra remotely accessed her computer and online banking.

They then changed their story, telling Ms Antrobus they were from iiNet after learning who her actual internet provider was.

"I wanted to report it because I feel very strongly that it will happen to someone else," she said.

"I do not want it to happen to someone else because it was a very traumatic experience."

It was only after attempting to purchase $2000 worth of Google Play vouchers at the supermarket that the scammers' plan was foiled.

Ms Antrobus said she was guilt-tripped and coerced after the men behind the scam told her to make the purchases so they could find who was hacking her bank account.

"He told me so many times that he would lose his job if I didn't make the purchases so I persisted with doing it," she said.

"I got to the counter and they said 'it is definitely a scam' and I should report it to the police.

"They called the police right there for me.

"(The scammers) kept ringing me all night but I just pulled the phone out of the plug."

During the ordeal, Ms Antrobus had been convinced to download software which eventually allowed the thieves into her computer remotely.

The brazen criminals denied they were accessing her Mac over the phone, just as she was watching them trawling through her online banking details on the screen in real time.

"(It started when) I got a phone call from a person saying they were from Telstra that they were ringing to tell me there was something wrong with my internet connection," Ms Antrobus said.

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"I'm not even with Telstra."

Ms Antrobus told The Chronicle she wanted to share her story as a cautionary tale for other residents who might fall for the plot.

Luckily, she was able to disable her bank accounts in time and no money was taken from her.

Anyone who believes they may have been conned by scammers posing as telco representatives should contact police immediately.