More than $100,000 has been ripped off from unsuspecting victims as a result of scams in Whyalla and Port Lincoln in one week.
“These are only the ones to have been reported to police,” said Senior Constable Monique Anderson who said the actual haul of cash could be greater in the two towns.
Senior Constable Anderson works in the crime prevention unit of SA Police at Whyalla.
She contacted the Whyalla News asking the newspaper to warn people about the sophisticated and brutal scams that are circulating in the community.
“Nothing surprises us,” she said.
“Any way they can get in, they will.
“People are busy and see things pop up on their computer and think, ‘I am going to have to deal with it now’, and they have other things going on. It is so easy to be scammed.
“People who work in finance or may have sport clubs or have work-related banking records – they can be targeted.
“It doesn’t only put your own money at risk, but it could also be the sport club’s or work’s or that of organisations that you are involved with.
“They just target anyone and everyone.
“They are ruthless and they are actually getting money … it shows people are falling for their tricks.
“If something doubtful comes up on the computer, contact a computer specialist.
“Don’t believe everything you are told, especially when it comes to your money and your identification.
“Make sure you have virus protection that is up to date.”
Senior Constable Anderson described a scam which netted some tricksters $30,000:
- A person using a computer noted that the screen froze.
- Then an image of Trojan Advice Plus Microsoft appeared with a phone number.
- The person was unable to clear the screen so they called the number.
- They spoke to a person who said the victim’s computer had been hacked and it could be fixed.
- The scamster asked the victim to log into some of their apps on the computer and then into the online banking.
- By this time the scamsters had remoted into the person’s computer so they then had access to banking details, banking passwords and Facebook.
- The victim was asked to look at their bank statements online and they put up a fake bank styatement that said the victim had erroneously forwarded a large sum of money and could they please have it back.
- The victim went to the bank and withdrew $30,000 cash and put it into the scamster’s bank account.
More than $30,000 was ripped off from another victim in a scam that was described as:
- The victim was using their home computer when a message said the computer was compromised and not to turn it off, but to call a certain phone number.
- The person did that and was asked to download a team sharing application on their mobile phone and then to open it.
- The person was provided with codes and the home computer was accessed remotely and the fictim was asked to open internet banking.
- More than $30,000 had then been transferred out of the victim’s account.
Senior Constable Anderson said another victim had been scammed for $30,000.
A total of $103,000 was stolen as a result of scams in Whyalla and Port Lincoln in the week of March 13-19, according to police.