Ben Fordham has revealed he liquidated a con man by offering a romantic road trip in the Australian outback with his own elaborate fake story – while his real wife was in on the joke.
Fordham told his 2GB listeners that someone identifying himself as “Tina,” using a photo of a young woman, had contacted him on WhatsApp and asked for a guide.
The broadcaster kept the scammer on a leash by posing as a gray guide who had gotten rich during the races and had survived being mauled by a kangaroo before ghosting her.
Ben Fordham has revealed he liquidated a con man by offering a romantic road trip in the Australian outback with his own elaborate fake story – while his real wife was in on the joke (pictured Fordham with his sister Jessie Lyle)
‘Tina’ started asking for ‘Peter’s Tour Guide Services’ and Fordham played along
‘Tina’ started asking for ‘Peter’s Tour Guide Services’ and Fordham played along.
So I couldn’t help it, I replied, this is pathetic Pete’s Aussie Outback Tours. What part of the country do you want to see?’
The scammer immediately gave himself away by apologizing for contacting the wrong person and attempted to probe Fordham into his real identity.
Scammers target WhatsApp all year round, first posing as the recipient’s child.
The scam Fordham dealt with follows a familiar pattern where an unknown individual uses a flimsy excuse to claim that he came across the recipient by chance.
Sometimes they claim to have found the recipient by accident when they entered the wrong number in a message.
The 2GB breakfast host made up the elaborate identity of Robbo, an outback divorcee who won big at the races and survived a kangaroo attack to round up a con man
“I hate being so clumsy,” Tina told Fordham before asking who she was talking to.
Again I couldn’t help it so I replied, “Hi Tina, you can call me whatever you want, but most people call me Robbo. Don’t worry about the clumsy fingers honey, I only have three fingers on me, However?” hand after being chewed by a kangaroo”.
“It’s tough here, so get a good guide.”
‘Tina’ warned ‘Robbo’ – aka Fordham – to be careful before inviting him for coffee.
“We can always have coffee, honey,” he told her.
Fordham also admitted that his wife, Jodie Speers, stopped him to ask “why do you want to waste your time?”
Robbo, aka Fordham, made some sketchy plans to cook con artist “Tina” a barbecue and “drive a few laps around Bourke in the ute” — before ghosting her
“But I heard someone say once that if you waste a scammer’s time, they don’t have as much time to scam someone else.”
Fordham then built on Robbo’s story, who claimed to live in Bourke (10 hours from Sydney), that he loves ‘Nescafe with a couple of Tim Tams’ and admitted to ‘having had a few marriages’. [and] a few tin lids’.
“Tin lids” is children’s rhyming slang and was once the title of a musical group made up of Jimmy Barnes’ four children.
“I’m sorry to hear about your marriage, I love a road trip,” Tina replied.
“We’ll cook you a barbecue and do a few laps around Bourke in the ute.”
‘That would be nice Robbo. I can’t wait to go there,’ Tina said.
She then wanted to know what Robbo did for a living, to which he replied, “I had some luck at the races and the rest is history.”
“I’ll get rock’n’roll from Centrelink too, but keep that between us.”
She promised ‘that’s our little secret’.
Fordham’s wife Jodie Speers (pictured with him) asked him ‘why are you wasting your time?’ with the scammer and he replied because he might have prevented them from scamming someone else
Tina then tried calling three times – even leaving a voicemail – but Fordham declined the calls.
He told her ‘we’ll have to chat later, I’m going to the bowlo to kill a steak and chips’.
He predicted there would be no road trip to Bourke with ‘Tina’.
The ACCCs Scam watch website describes some of the warning signs of dating and romance scams.
“After gaining your trust—often waiting weeks, months, or even years—they’ll tell you an elaborate story and ask for money, gifts, or your bank/credit card information.”
“If you don’t send money right away, their messages and calls will become more desperate, persistent, or direct. If you send money, they keep asking you to send more.
“They don’t keep their promises and always have an excuse why they can’t travel to meet you and why they always need more money.”