Great-grandmother Marie Marshall is the victim of a scammer posing as a Commonwealth Bank employee and loses her savings
- Marie Marshall was the victim of a scam
- He posed as a Commonwealth Bank staff member
- A scammer convinced a 66-year-old man to open a fake account
A widow was left with just $4 in her purse after being cruelly scammed and losing all of her life savings.
Marie Marshall lost $21,000 when a scammer posing as a Commonwealth Bank employee convinced her to transfer her money to a new account to ‘keep it safe’.
The scammer called Ms Marshall in May and told her he worked for the Commonwealth Fraud Department.
She said the man spoke well, had an Indian accent and came across as genuine after quoting his account numbers and balances.
“He informed me that there were a number of suspicious transactions on my account and Commonwealth believed my account had been compromised,” Ms Marshall said.
Marie Marshall, 66-year-old widow and great-grandmother, lost all her life savings to a scammer
“In order to secure my accounts and my funds, he said that I should open a new CBA account and transfer all my money there.”
Ms Marshall was also told to download an app to transfer the funds to the account, which was safer than giving details over the phone because that’s what ‘scammers do’.
Ms. Marshall was unaware that the app gave the scammer full access to her phone, allowing her to take her money and use her credit cards.
The great-grandmother, who family and friends described as an ‘Australian fighter’ ready to lend a helping hand to anyone, was unaware of the cruel trick for two days until until she reads a Facebook account of a person victim of an identical scam.
“I immediately burst into tears and tried to access my bank account, but couldn’t log in,” Ms Marshall said.
“I then went to a nearby ATM, but my PIN didn’t work. I was heartbroken and very distraught.
“I was so embarrassed and felt so stupid that I fell for the scam. I’ve always been so careful with money. My future is going to be a week-to-week life situation.
Ms Marshall was left with just $4 in her purse, meaning the fiercely independent woman who has always paid her own way had to turn to her family for financial help.
The scammer posed as an employee of the Commonwealth Bank fraud department and convinced Ms Marshall that she needed to use an app to transfer her money to a new account to keep it safe.
In addition to the money stolen from his account, the scammer has accumulated over $3,000 on his credit card.
The series of devastating events left Ms Marshall suffering from depression and she withdrew from the world, which concerned her family.
With the help of her daughter, Ms Marshall explained what happened to the bank, but they say the money cannot be recovered.
However, Westpac was able to recover $5,500 of Ms. Marshall’s funds, which were returned to her.
Commonwealth Bank has offered Ms Marshall compensation of just $4,490 but wants to pay $2,500 of the credit card bill.
Since the scam, Ms Marshall has had her Facebook account hacked with all photos and contacts deleted, and she has received up to 10 unsolicited phone calls from unknown numbers every day.
The Commonwealth Bank insists that Ms Marshall’s lost funds are irretrievable and that she must cover the bulk of a credit card debt the scammer has accumulated.
To help her, her son Chris Marshall launched a GoFundMe page.
He said his mother had saved up her tax refunds over the past seven years to buy a used car in retirement.
“Anyone who knows Marie knows how difficult life has been,” the page read.
“She raised 3 children on her own as a widow and worked hard throughout her life.
She always deprived herself and budgeted her whole life on minimum wage.
Her son says since the scam his mother ‘feels absolutely lost and struggling both emotionally and financially.”
As of Sunday morning, nearly $8,000 had been pledged to help his plight.