Scammers take tens of thousands of elderly victims, one of whom felt ‘spellbound’


The victims were convinced to transfer money to Australian accounts by people claiming to be part of a bank fraud team who were trying to catch a member of bank staff on suspicion of wrongdoing.

Provided

The victims were convinced to transfer money to Australian accounts by people claiming to be part of a bank fraud team who were trying to catch a member of bank staff on suspicion of wrongdoing.

Scammers claiming to be part of a bank fraud team have taken tens of thousands of elderly residents of Waikato.

Police have issued a warning regarding a series of phone scams targeting elderly residents of Waikato, with victims of Thames and Waihī both losing $ 46,000 each.

“This week is Fraud Awareness Week and offenses of this nature make it clear how far the crooks are going to go and the tactics they use, ”said Detective Sgt. Mark Leathem.

He said in the current cases, the scam involved victims called in by someone claiming to be a member of a bank fraud team who needed help catching a bank staff member on suspicion of wrongdoing.

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The offenders convinced the victims to transfer money to Australian bank accounts.

Two elderly women, one in Thames and another in Waihī, each lost $ 46,000, while an elderly couple in Whitianga lost $ 25,000.

A victim was asked to download a “remote access application” to his computer, allowing fraudsters full and uninterrupted access to banking and personal information.

“These crooks, who we believe are related, appear to target the elderly and the most vulnerable members of our communities and attack their good character, making them believe they are helping reputable organizations with their investigations. “said Leathem.

“A victim told me that she felt like she was under the spell and was just doing what she thought was right.

She was brought up trusting people and just wanted to help with their investigation. “

A victim was asked to download a

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A victim was asked to download a “remote access application” to his computer, allowing fraudsters to access their banking and personal information.

Police urge people to have conversations with vulnerable or elderly family members, to make sure they are aware of the tactics often used by crooks and that they do not fall victim to this offense.

“The police message on this type of offense is simple: don’t contact anyone over the phone. Police and banking organizations will never ask for this kind of assistance over the phone, ”Leathem said.

“If you think you have been scammed hang up immediately, you won’t offend anyone and report the matter to your bank and the police.

“If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of a caller’s identity, ask if you can call them back, or just hang up and never open the links emailed to you by the scammer.”

“One click is all it takes for these offenders to have access to your information. “

“If you unfortunately opened a link that installed Remote Access to your computer, make sure the device is turned off or disconnected from the Internet and ask for help to make sure it is removed safely. security.”

In the case of these recent incidents, investigations are underway.


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