AN 89-year-old Gold Coast woman has lost more than $200,000 after falling victim to an elaborate phone scam.
Police said the Tallebudgera woman was just one of seven elderly people to fall victim to the scam in five weeks.
Detectives say the victims 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.
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The elderly residents are told that someone has tried to access their credit card or bank account and are convinced by the bogus 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,” police said in a statement.
“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.”
The first reported incident occurred on 17 October at Bundall where an 84-year-old woman lost $84,000. Five elderly Runaway Bay victims and one at Tallebudgera were also targeted.
Detective Senior Sergeant Simon Garrett from the Gold Coast Criminal Investigation Branch said it appeared to be an elaborate scam coming out of the United Kingdom.
“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/