Heartless hackers steal $52,000 from grandparents by impersonating the couple and stealing their house deposit
- An elderly Brisbane couple were scammed out of their $52,000 home deposit
- Margaret and Pat Hailey were moving to downsize after recent health struggles
- A hacker pretending to be Mr Hailey had sent an email to the real estate agent
- The real estate agent then sent the requested funds to an unknown ANZ account
An elderly couple have spoken out after being scammed out $52,000 by fraudsters who targeted their real estate agent.
Margaret and Pat Hailey from Browns Plains, Brisbane, had decided to sell their beloved family home after Mrs Hailey battled against both breast and stomach cancer – which saw her entire stomach removed – and Mr Hailey’s kidney transplant.
The couple had sold their home and were planning their move when they noticed a large chunk of money was missing.
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Margaret and Pat Hailey from Browns Plains, Brisbane, were victims of an email scam that saw $52,757 transferred from their home deposit to an unknown bank account in September
The couple immediately contacted their real estate agent Philip Rsnikoff from Crafted Property to figure out where their funds had gone.
The real estate agent then told them he had received an email from Mr Hailey requesting the large sum be transferred to an ANZ bank account.
He had transferred the money in good faith but Mrs Hailey insists it’s impossible her husband sent the email.
Their real estate agent said he had received an email from Mr Hailey requesting the large sum be transferred to an ANZ bank account
‘It came on Patrick’s phone and Patrick doesn’t know how to email, Patrick doesn’t know how to text,’ she told A Current Affair.
‘It’s not our bank account, not our bank.’
Browns Plains Police began their investigation and found the most likely explanation for the email was that the couple were hacked.
The Australian Cyber Security Centre issued a warning last year that all parties involved in real estate transactions were at risk of high-level scams.
‘Cybercriminals are targeting all parties involved in the real estate sector, with a particular focus on impersonating conveyancing lawyers and communication with their clients,’ the statement said.
It is recommended people who recieve an email asking for large sums of money call the sender and verify they have asked for the funds before transferring.
Fortunately after a six month investigation the bank was able to reverse the transaction and retrieve Mr and Mrs Hailey’s $52,757
Fortunately after a six month investigation the bank was able to reverse the transaction and retrieve Mr and Mrs Hailey’s $52,757.
‘It’s a big relief, a massive relief because for us it’s all about the customer and the client and that’s a big responsibility with their money,’ the couple’s real estate agent Mr Rsnikoff said.
Mr and Mrs Hailey have sworn to never use email again.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk