A phone scam targeting elderly Gold Coast residents involving fake police and bank officials has now stretched to Brisbane with a further case reported.
The elaborate scam has already targeted elderly victims on the Gold Coast, including one 89-year-old Tallebudgera woman who lost over $200,000 and an 84-year-old Bundall woman who lost $84,000.
A Brisbane based victim has now come forward to police. The 91-year-old woman from New Farm was contacted by a person claiming to work for a jewellery store in Brisbane who stated a man had tried to use her credit card to purchase a $22,000 watch.
The woman was later contacted by a man claiming to be a detective for the Fraud Squad to advise the transaction had been cancelled and the offender apprehended by police. An Inspector of the Fraud Squad later contacted her to ask she transfer $80,000 to a UK based bank so the money could be used as part of an operation to catch those fraudulently using the woman’s cards. The woman transferred the money.
“While the players in the scam change, the basic premise stays the same. A bank official, a store and a person claiming to be a police officer are involved. Reference numbers are quoted to appear legitimate and the use of police officers and operations are thrown in to strengthen the story.
“These victims have lost a substantial amount of money and it is not a coincidence that they are all elderly. It is a callous attack on a vulnerable group within our community and it is appalling.
“Our message is to the entire community to be vigilant and treat any calls that request you to transfer money, regardless of how legitimate they sound, with suspicion. Seek clarification. Do not use any number they provide you to find out further information and please come forward to report it if it has happened to you,” Acting Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence of the Fraud and Cyber Crime Group said.
If you or anyone that you know has been a victim of a scam you should contact your bank immediately and then report the matter through ACORN, the Australian Cyber-crime Online Reporting Network https://www.acorn.gov.au/
For more information on current scams visit ScamWatch: https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/
If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.
You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.