SHEEP farmer Narelle Mibus is “frustrated” she was duped by scammers, allowing them to access her computer and steal her hard-earned money.
Not only was her joint account with husband Andrew wiped of its funds, their 17-year-old daughter Zali’s savings account was also left depleted.
“I received a call one afternoon from someone saying they were from Visa and Mastercard and told me there had been fraudulent activity on our bank account,” Ms Mibus said.
“It all sounded so legitimate and I was told I would be put through to the fraud department because I had a virus on my internet banking.”
The scammers managed to remotely access the Mibus’s computer and steal $2400 of her and her husband’s savings, and also $2500 in Zali’s account.
Mrs Mibus said despite taking a severe hit financially, luckily it wasn’t at a time of year when they had more cash in the bank after selling wool or livestock.
Fortunately, after an investigation, the Mibus family were reunited with some funds.
New ANZ figures show the number of remote access scams have climbed more than any other scam, increasing 10 times since the end of 2017.
Of scams reported to the bank in the past 12 months, 35 per cent were remote access scams.
This is where fraudsters try and convince the victim they have a computer or internet problem and they could help resolve it.
ANZ chief compliance officer Guy Boyd said Australians needed to be alert given scammers were rife, particularly relating to investment scams.
“It’s a pretty tough time if you are a saver and an investor,” he said. “If you are in the older demographic and built up your wealth and trying to live off that wealth in retirement it’s hard to get good yield because interest rates are so low.”
ANZ found 28 per cent of losses in the past 18 months were to investment scams totalling $7.5 million.
Mr Boyd said Australians’ desire to get better returns resulted in them getting duped by criminals preying on them.
“People are tempted to perhaps go riskier to get returns,” Mr Boyd said.
“In that environment people are tempted to send money to something online that looks like a legitimate investment but it turns out to be a scam.”
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s MoneySmart senior executive leader, Laura Higgins, said with any scam “be wary of too-good-to-be-true offers”.
“If you are offered high returns on an investment I would be investigating further,” she said.
“Ignore random and out of blue contact and protect your personal information.”
• Regularly check your bank statements.
• Be wary of anyone contacting you out of the blue.
• Keep your personal information secure.
• Know who you are dealing with.
• Do not open suspicious texts, links or emails.
• Don’t respond to calls for remote access to your computer.
Originally published as The worst scams targeting innocent Australians