An elaborate telephone scam in which police and bank officials are impersonated has resulted in several elderly Gold Coast residents loosing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The victims – including one 89-year-old Tallebudgera woman who lost over $200,000 – are cold called by a man claiming to be either a police officer, a manager from a business, or a fraud investigator from one of Australia’s banks.
The victims are told that someone has tried to access their credit card/s and/or bank account/s. The elderly victim is convinced by the caller that police and the bank are working together to stop the thieves.
Several calls are made to the victims over a period of time, with the victims believing they are talking to police and bank investigators, all looking into the attempted theft of their money or cards.
The bogus bank fraud investigator eventually calls the victim telling them they must electronically transfer their funds into a ‘safe account’ located in the United Kingdom, and this has to be done immediately.
Detective Senior Sergeant Simon Garrett, Gold Coast Criminal Investigation Branch said this appears to be an elaborate scam coming out of the United Kingdom.
“So far we have seven occurrences of this scam on the Gold Coast, with the first reported incident occurring on October 17 at Bundall where an 84-year-old woman lost $84,000. Five elderly Runaway Bay victims and one at Tallebudgera were also targeted.”
“The offenders are targeting some of the most vulnerable people in our community with the ages of the elderly victims in their 70s and 80s.” Detective Senior Sergeant Garrett said.
If you or anyone that you know has been a victim of this scam please report the incident 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/
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation working in partnership with the Queensland Police Service.
For all non-urgent police reporting or general police inquiries contact Policelink on 131 444.