He had only a slight accent, he wasn’t using a blocked caller ID (it was a Victorian number) and he already knew their bank account details and phone numbers. Tenterfield couple Bruce and Dianne Robinson consider themselves pretty sharp when it comes to detecting a scam, but this guy was so convincing he nearly took them in.
The Robinsons received the call from the scammer to their home phone with a very detailed story, claiming to be an National Australia Bank officer warning them of attempts to transfer $799 from one of their accounts to a bank in Auckland.
The caller convinced them of the need to set up internet banking on their accounts so that they could monitor the situation, and Bruce said that’s when alarm bells started ringing.
With the local branch now closing at 2pm the couple rushed down to put a stop on all their accounts, and even on the way the scammer texted messages to their mobiles to confirm the changes.
Bruce fears what may have happened if they had delayed the trip, with the real possibility that their accounts could have been emptied. Now that it’s been reported to the bank, however, he said they’re protected and the matter would be referred to the fraud squad.
The couple are most shocked by the personal information the scammer already had on them going back some time, as he referred to an old mobile phone number that Dianne had changed three years ago.
With scammers becoming ever more sophisticated in their attempts to relieve victims of their assets, people are advised to never disclose personal information to strangers over the phone or internet, and to contact their bank as soon as possible if they’re at all concerned.