AN AUSTRALIAN man has described how he was almost conned out of £3,000 by scammers posing as his son on WhatsApp.
Scientist Alan Baxter said he realised he was being fleeced and averted disaster thanks to the criminal’s lack of punctuation.
Writing on Twitter no início deste mês, he criticised banks for facilitating crooks and not getting the scammer’s account banned.
In a later tweet, Baxter confirmed that the attacker’s account had been shut down by ANZ after they initially refused to act.
The scammers employed a tactic that is growing in popularity among crooks: Posing as a family member in need of urgent financial aid.
O sol previously helped a 75-year-old British man retrieve £1,500 from his bank after he had been hoodwinked by someone posing as his grandaughter on WhatsApp.
Read more about WhatsApp
Baxter, an immunologist with 34,000 Seguidores do Twitter, shared screengrabs of texts sent to him by fraudsters.
They read: “Hi dad this is my temp number I’m using an old device until my phone is repaired.
“Don’t have the banking app on this phone. I planned to make a payment today but won’t be able to do that myself.
“Can you help? I’ll send you the details if it’s fine.”
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The tricky customer then messaged banking details across and requested that Baxter send him $4,700 AUS (£2,691).
But the scientist quickly clocked that something was off and did not send any money.
“My son is an English teacher so the lack of grammar and full-stops alerted me,” Mr Baxter told the Correio diário.
“I first contacted ANZ’s customer help line but I was told it (the scam) wasn’t related to the banks activities and there was nothing that they can do.
“I thought it was an opportunity for the bank to close or freeze the account and even investigate the funds it has received.”
Baxter said that a customer service employee declined to take the scammer’s details and hung up the phone when he asked to speak to someone more senior.
“It all raises the issue of what responsibility a bank facilitating fraud has in a situation like this.,” Baxter wrote on Twitter.
“They clearly profit from the fraud, provide the resources to enable it, and refuse to act even when offered evidence.”
ANZ bank has now placed “restraints” on the account.
“We were made aware of the issue and our teams promptly took steps to address it, including placing restraints on the account,” a spokesperson said.
“As this matter is still under investigation, we’re unable to discuss further.”
Eu obviamente pensei sobre isso, mas eu tinha um trabalho a fazer.”
If you’re worried that you might have fallen for a financial scam, the first thing you should do is contact your bank.
You should then report it to ActionFraud. Their website is actionfraud.police.uk, and their phone number is 0300 123 2040.
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