Phone scam stole $500 from this South Burnett pensioner
BRIAN Fawcett doesn't own a computer, has never used the internet and pays for everything with cash.
The 80-year-old is an old-school country bloke who lives a quiet life in Kumbia, and he likes it that way.
So it came as a shock this week when he learnt a phone scammer had managed to steal more than $500 from his NAB bank account.
The culprit had kept the Kumbia resident on the line for more than two hours.
Mr Fawcett said he thought something fishy was going on from the beginning of the phone conversation, but became anxious when the caller claimed to be part of a fraud investigation unit with the National Australia Bank.
"I was at home on Monday when we received a call at 1pm and the caller, who had an Indian accent, said he was from the NAB fraud squad," Mr Fawcett said.
"When I told him I was going to go to the local NAB in Kingaroy he became quite anxious and kept telling me to stay on the line.
"He kept coming and going from the phone call, saying he was checking on things and looking into our accounts.
"It was startling because he could tell me more about my banking activity than I could tell you myself."
The pensioner said the fraudster knew his home address, telephone numbers as well as who he was regularly paying bills to and who he was receiving money from, and when.
Knowing something wasn't right, Mr Fawcett went to the Kingaroy NAB branch to review his statements and discovered $529.45 had been taken out of his account by an unknown party.
NAB has assured him the real fraud investigators were now looking into the case and told Mr Fawcett the funds would be returned to him.
Now he wants to make sure other South Burnett residents to know how easily it could happen to them.
"Be alert," Mr Fawcett said.
"If you think something isn't right, go straight to the bank and look into it."
The Times reached out to NAB for more advice about how residents can keep themselves safe from fraudulent activity.
"We're committed to doing what we can to ensure all NAB customers are protected from cybercrime and fraud," an NAB spokeswoman said.
"We invest heavily in the latest cyber security and fraud detection capabilities to protect our customers, and we monitor customers' accounts 24 hours a day, seven days a week for suspicious activity.
"Last year, our security experts provided advice to more than 3000 customers about cyber safety and this week closes out our latest national roadshow aimed at driving customer awareness and education around cyber safety."
The spokeswoman provided the following advice to help customers to determine if they were being targeted by a scammer:
• NAB will never ask you to confirm, update or disclose personal or banking information via a link in an email or text message.
• If you receive this type of email or text message, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete it.
• If you have received this type of email or text message and have clicked on the link or entered your details, please contact your local branch or call 13 22 65 immediately.
• Ensure you carefully read any SMS codes sent to you. If it states "Your NAB secret code is xxxxx. Do not provide this to anyone, even NAB", do not disclose this code to anyone.
• Treat any unsolicited phone calls with caution. If you're unsure about the legitimacy of any call, hang up, and call back on an official, publicly listed phone number to verify the call was legitimate. The general NAB number 13 22 65 is listed on the back of your cards and on the website.
• Never give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer or online bank accounts.
For more information, NAB has a mature security awareness program.
NAB customers and small-to-medium businesses can access the Security Hub here.
The Security Hub is full of helpful and pragmatic articles, videos, and training modules to equip customers with the information and tools they need to be aware of to protect themselves, as well as regularly published security alerts when NAB sees new threats and identifies trends.