A cruel conman tried to con a woman out of her savings by pretending to be her bank, alerting her to a fake fraud attempt.
The scammer, who identified himself as Martin Moore and spoke with 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 verify her personal information.
The scammer managed to use spoofing software that made it look like he was actually calling from Westpac.
The woman did not fall for the scammer’s tricks and ended the call before she lost any money.
Westpac shared audio of the call on Wednesday and said reported fraud was up 33 percent in July from the previous year.
“I’m calling about your credit card, if you 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 woman’s credit card number before spinning his yarn about the fake money transfer.
The scammer asked if the woman was trying to make a transfer to someone in Mexico or if she lost her card.
For added realism, he added that the call was being recorded for “training purposes,” a disclaimer on almost all corporate customer service calls.
A man posing as a Westpac fraudster tried to swindle money out of a woman in New Zealand before she got a clue of his scam (pictured is the 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 decades.
He very politely told her that Westpac had to cancel her card and send her a new one.
“We will cancel this transaction for you today as well, okay ma’am?” he said.
The woman was then asked to read out a cancellation code that was 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 confirmed myself to you today, I have confirmed to you that the number I am calling from is the number on your card,” he said.
HOW TO FIND A SCAMMER
They call, text or email you out of the blue, claiming to be from a reputable company
They have often already fraudulently obtained personal information such as your name, final digits of your credit card or approximate location, making them appear legitimate
They’ll often instruct you to perform an action while you’re talking to them — like updating your bank 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 text that appears to be from the company they say they’re calling you from while they’re on the phone with you to convince you the call is real
When asked why he wasn’t calling from a New Zealand number, the fraudster quickly lied and said that 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 became aware and told him she was not “comfortable” talking further.
‘No problem, I totally understand if you can just call us back straight away,’ replied the scammer.
Westpac said there were several red flags in the call that customers should look out for, such as the fact that 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 that he was calling from Westpac, which was another tactic.
Westpac has since worked with Optus to block calls from fraudsters trying to impersonate the bank.
Close to 95,000 Westpac phone numbers have been added to a ‘do not originate’ list, meaning they will not be able to be used by fraudsters.
Westpac’s head of fraud Ben Young said fraudsters have also posed as telecoms providers, government organizations and even family members.
“We have seen a significant increase in cases where fraudsters use software to mask their phone number with that of a known business,” he said.
“These scam numbers are incredibly challenging to detect because, from the customer’s perspective, they appear to be called from, say, Westpac, when in fact it’s a fraudster pretending to be a member of our fraud team calling from a whole second number.
‘The scammer will then use personal information they have obtained fraudulently, such as quoting the customer’s name or the last few digits of their credit card, to convince them that the call is genuine.
“If ever in doubt, hang up and call back a publicly listed number to make sure the call is genuine.”
Westpac shared audio of the call on Tuesday and said reported scams had risen by 33 percent in July, an increase on the previous year (stock image)