Sad story of Warburton resident a further reminder to be scam aware

A Warburton resident shares her story of a scam that stole $27,100 dollars from here. Picture: ON FILE

By Callum Ludwig

A Warburton resident wants to share the story of the scam attack that robbed her of over $27,000 in the hopes it stops someone else from making the same mistake she did.

Patricia Hole had been in recent contact with Telstra about a bill when she got a call from someone impersonating an employee of the telecommunications company.

“I was at home and my phone rang and the gentleman told me he was from Telstra and that there was a problem with my internet banking and maybe that should have rung a bell but it didn’t because I had had some discussions with Telstra regarding our bill and they weren’t very cooperative and I thought I thought it was to do with that,” she said.

“I went on talking to him and he asked me who I banked with and I said Bendigo Bank and ING and he asked me all sorts of questions and told me to write down new pin numbers for both of my accounts and I stupidly did that,”

“He was all very nice, very helpful and kept saying to me, I’m so sorry this has happened to you, blah, blah, blah and of course, I fell for it, it was only when he said to me at the end of the conversation to put my phone in a drawer or a wardrobe so that I don’t get zapped by the radiation off of your phone that I realised and it was too late.”

Ms Hole quickly rang the Bendigo Bank and was told $20,000 had been taken out of her account and a further $7100 went on to be taken out. She believes most of the funds came out in increments of $4900 either four or five times, well above her $2500 maximum daily withdrawal limit.

Ms Hole said since she was targeted, another friend of hers who lives in Warburton had been scammed.

“They are going through exactly the same thing as me, except there’s a lot larger amount, and they are just beside themselves because they just don’t seem to be getting anywhere,” she said.

“They’ve tried the Australian Financial Compliance Council (AFCA), they’re about to go to the banking Ombudsman and we’ve been in touch with AFCA as well and apparently they’ve written to the bank, and the bank is supposed to reply to their letter by the ninth of this month, so we’re just sort of hoping that something might come of that.”

Ms Hole is a member of the Yarra Junction Weight Support Group which organised a Cyber Security Information night at the Yarra Junction Library for Wednesday 3 April to inform their members about the dangers of scams.

Ms Hole said she had only gotten some of her money back so far.

I hope it doesn’t happen to anybody, but it’s just scary to know that even a bank’s not safe but I don’t know what else to do, we just keep trying to get as much of the money back as we can,” she said.

“We’re pensioners, we’re not flush with money, and we were doing the right thing paying for our funerals so that when we do pass on it’ll all be paid, and now we have only have half of it paid and can’t afford the other half.”