Ryan loses $10,000 in online scam

Despite the increasing sophistication of online scams, fraudsters are still resorting to harassment and intimidation, data revealed during Scam Awareness Week suggests.

Call from an unknown number. Photo: via Canva

Ryan, a 43- year-old Sydney resident, fell victim to a $10,000 fraudulent bank transaction. His bank delayed reimbursement while investigating the incident, leaving him in limbo for three months. “We’ve leaned on family to get by, especially with Christmas around the corner,” Ryan said. But the torment didn’t end there.  

Fraudsters continue to pursue victims like Ryan, trying to establish connections. “Over the last month, I’ve gotten text messages, emails and even calls trying to get me to confirm the transactions. They claim to be my bank, asking for information,” Ryan said.  

Speaking at Scams Awareness Week, National Anti-Scam Centre’s, Jayde Richmond warned of a surge in impersonation scams. “The scale of this crisis looms large,” she said. “The perpetrators employ increasingly sophisticated methods, masquerading as legitimate entities or individuals, making detection difficult.” Richmond warned advancements in AI were boosting the perceived authenticity of fraudulent documents with features including voice deepfakes. She urged consumers to ask themselves when communicating ‘who’s really there’? 

Ben Young, the head of Westpac’s fraud devision, acknowledged the urgent call for banks to take action as scams evolve in complexity. “We share a common enemy,” he said, and stressed that banks must work together.  

Ryan admits he’s learned lessons, “It’s easier to (be) defraud(ed) than you think. It’s changed how I disclose bank details to businesses, regardless of their security measures. I’m more aware of what details to expose and how best to insulate myself from fraud as best I can,” he said.


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