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Evil scammers pretending to be AFP target 82-year-old woman to steal $50,000

An elderly grandmother nearly lost $50,000 after she was targeted by cruel scammers who threatened to hurt her children.

Retired school teacher Alma, 82, is just one of hundreds who have fallen victim to the con set up by criminals pretending to be from the Australian Federal Police.

Scammers have been calling innocent Aussies pretending to be federal agents, telling victims they have identified suspicious activity in their bank accounts and asking them to hand over personal details including banking information.

In more sinister cases, some victims are emailed fake arrest warrants and are then forced to deposit money into nominated banks accounts or through online vouchers.

Alma was ordered by her scammer to drive around to different bank accounts depositing money – saying the ploy has left her terrified to leave her home.

‘I was frightened all the time, everywhere I go I always look behind me,’ she told A Current Affair.

‘Sometimes they said ”we’re going to hurt your children too, your daughter”.’

Her daughter said the widowed grandmother, who has a PHD in chemistry, was pressured not to tell anyone about the scam.

‘(They were) scaring her and telling her if she told anyone that they would hurt her and her family,’ she said.

‘They had bullied her to the point she wasn’t thinking, she would say it was like she was in a trance.’

Retired school teacher Alma, 82, is just one of many that have found themselves victim to the con set up by criminals pretending to be from the Australian Federal Police

Thankfully for Alma the money she deposited was able to be transferred back to her or refunded by the banks in time.

But not everyone has been so lucky with 18-year-old psychology student Daniel Waterhouse losing his life savings when he was told to purchase a series of gift vouchers at a local post office.

Worrying, he said the number that was calling was the same number shown on the AFP’s website when he looked it up.

‘When you’re in that moment you sort of don’t realise that it’s happening and how stupid it could seem,’ he said.

AFP Detective Superintendent Jayne Crossling has urged residents to be on alert if they are receiving suspicious calls – labelling those responsible ‘heartless’.

‘This is not us calling. We would never demand money from you,’ she said.

She said for anyone who has received a call from someone pretending to be from the AFP, they should look up the number for the AFP switchboard for their capital city and call and ask them to confirm if it was a scam.

Fake warrants sent by scammers have even been circling and feature the AFP badge and watermark in an attempt to look authentic

Some unsuspecting victims have been told to meet scammers in parks to pay up after receiving fake warrants

Fake warrants sent by scammers have even been circling and feature the AFP badge and watermark in an attempt to look authentic.

Those targeted should hang up immediately and not redial the number they received even if it appears to be identical.

Fake warrants sent by scammers have even been circling and feature the AFP badge and watermark in an attempt to look authentic.

AFP Detective Superintendent Jayne Crossling has urged residents to be on alert if they are receiving suspicious calls - labelling those responsible 'heartless'

AFP Detective Superintendent Jayne Crossling has urged residents to be on alert if they are receiving suspicious calls – labelling those responsible ‘heartless’

Some unsuspecting victims who have received these fake warrants have been told to meet those behind the scam in local parks to pay up.

Victims should call their banks and then either contact their local police station or report the scam to ReportCyber or Scamwatch.

The AFP said they’ve received hundreds of reports within the past few months of people answering calls from fake agents.

One elderly woman lost more than $16,000 to a scammer recently, the AFP said, while a 27-year-old woman lost $38,000.

So far this year more than $50million has been lost to scammers, Scamwatch reported.

Authorities say every eight minutes an Australian reports a cybercrime. 

DON’T ANSWER CALLS STARTING WITH ‘0480 036’ 

Hundreds of people have reported receiving scam calls from mobile phone numbers starting with ‘0480 036’

Even once the number is blocked, another call comes through with only the last three digits different 

‘Multiple calls a day with the same prefix 0480 036. Just different last three numbers. Never leave a message. Borderline harassment calls. Sometimes six a day,’ one person said on scam reporting website Telguarder.

‘Been calling for months on this number with different ending variations. Started with 0480012xxx and now have moved on to the 0480036xxx. Getting multiple calls a day now,’ another said.

Those targeted are urged not to answer the call, and report the number to Scamwatch  

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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