A cruel scammer tried to swindle a woman out of her savings by pretending to be her bank warning her about fake attempted fraud.
The scammer, who identified himself as Martin Moore and spoke in a British accent, called a New Zealand woman claiming to be from Westpac’s fraud prevention team.
He told her there was an attempt to transfer money from her bank account to someone in Mexico, and asked her to confirm her personal details.
The scammer managed to use spoofing software that made it appear he was actually calling from Westpac.
The woman didn’t fall for the scammer’s tricks and ended the call before losing any money.
Westpac shared the audio of the call on Wednesday, and said reported scams surged 33 per cent in July from the previous year.
‘I’m calling in regards to your credit card, if you do want to check the authenticity of this call, you can check the number that I’m calling you from today, it’s on the back of your card,’ the scammer is heard saying.
He confirms the number on the woman’s credit card before spinning his yarn about the fake transfer of money.
The scammer asked if the woman was trying to make a transfer to someone in Mexico or whether she lost her card.
For added realism he added that for ‘training purposes’ the call was being recorded, a disclaimer on nearly every corporate customer service call.
A man posing as a Westpac fraud team worker tried to swindle money out of a woman in New Zealand before she clued in on his scam (pictured is Westpac branch in Adelaide)
‘Now just to confirm have you been to Mexico before and used your card in Mexico?’ he said, to which the woman said she had, but not for several decades.
He very politely told her Westpac would have to cancel her card and send her a new one.
‘We’re also going to cancel this transaction for you today, okay madam?’ he said.
The woman was then asked to read out a cancellation code sent to her number.
He tried to take her through a security check to confirm she was the account holder so he could ‘cancel’ her card.
‘Now I have verified myself for you today, I have confirmed to you that the number I’m calling from is the number on your card,’ he said.
HOW TO SPOT A SCAMMER
They unexpectedly call, SMS or email you claiming to be from a reputable business
They have often already fraudulently obtained personal details like your name, ending digits on your credit card or approximate location, which makes them appear legitimate
They will often instruct you to complete an action while on the phone to them – like updating your banking details, increasing your daily payment limit, downloading an app or sending money to a ‘new’ account
They may use software to send you a fake SMS that appears to be from the business they say they’re calling you from while on the phone with you to convince you the call is genuine
When questioned why he wasn’t calling from a New Zealand number, the scammer quickly lied and said because the transaction happened in Mexico, he was calling from Westpac’s international fraud team.
When he asked her to confirm her date of birth, the woman clued in and told him she wasn’t ‘comfortable’ speaking further.
‘No problem I completely understand, if you can just give us a call back straight away,’ the scammer responded.
Westpac said there were several red flags in the call customers should look out for, such as the fact the call was unexpected.
The bank said it would also never send a code to cancel payments or ask customers to read out a security code.
The scammer also repeatedly tried to confirm he was calling from Westpac, which was another tactic.
Westpac has since worked with Optus to block calls from scammers trying to impersonate the bank.
Close to 95,000 Westpac phone numbers have been added to a ‘do not originate’ list, which means they won’t be able to be used by scammers.
Westpac’s Head of Fraud Ben Young said scammers have also been pretending to be telco providers, government organisations and even family members.
‘We’ve seen a significant increase in cases where scammers are using software to mask their phone number with the number of a known business,’ he said.
‘These scams are incredibly challenging to detect because from the customer’s perspective, they appear to be getting a call from say Westpac, when in fact, it’s a scammer posing as a member of our fraud team calling from a completely different number.
‘The scammer will then use personal information they’ve fraudulently obtained, like quoting the customer’s name or last few digits of their credit card, to convince them the call is genuine.
‘If ever in doubt, hang up and call back on a publicly listed number to ensure the call is genuine.’
Westpac shared the audio of the call on Tuesday, and said that reported scams had surged by 33 per cent in July, up from the previous year (stock image)