Heartless criminals stole $100,000 from a 90-year-old grandmother in a vicious computer scam.
Brenda* woman from Western Sydney saw a security alert on her computer but didn’t think it was suspicious because it included a phone number to call to resolve the IT issue.
“I got a phone number from Victoria so I called it and a lady named Jade answered and said she was from Apple Security,” she said.
‘Jade’ started to ‘fix’ the problem, but then told Brenda, who lives in a retirement home, that she a $500 refund and would need her internet banking information.
The older woman had never used internet banking before, sticking to checks and visits to her local bank, so ‘Jade’ helped set it up.
Heartless criminals stole $100,000 from a 90-year-old western Sydney grandmother in a vicious computer scam. An elderly woman is depicted using a laptop
In doing so, the scammers installed remote access software on Brenda’s computer, giving them access to her information.
When it was set up, Jade then told her that they accidentally pressed too many zeros and refunded her $50,000 instead of $500.
Brenda was then told to go to her bank immediately to refund the overpayment to them.
She was confused by Jade’s “very probing” tone, she said 7News.
“I was very scared and afraid, and I felt like they were watching me and listening to me,” she said.
Using their remote access, the scammers had transferred $500 from one of Brenda’s accounts to another, leading her to believe they were legit.
They told her to transfer $50,000 to an account called ACN Constructions Pty Ltd NSW, and when the bank asked why, she would say it was for renovations.
She said a bank clerk took her to an office and after a few checks processed the transfer.
Unbeknownst to her, Brenda had just lost $50,000, but the scam wasn’t over yet.
Jade and a male scammer called and said the same thing happened again and she needed another refund.
They were again very insistent and told her not to tell anyone what was going on. Brenda did as they asked and lost another $50,000.
The older woman had never used internet banking before, so ‘Jade’ (a con artist) helped set it up. Pictured is a stock photo of a computer scammer
Brenda realized she had missed some warning signs, such as being pressured to act quickly, so she didn’t have time to think things through. The photo shows an elderly woman looking at a computer
When she told her sons what had happened, they realized she was a victim of fraud.
“We were shocked…Mum has been an ANZ customer for 60 years, how could they let this happen?” Brenda’s son said.
They thought that because she didn’t have internet banking she was safe from scams, but they didn’t know that the criminals could take over her computer.
Brenda then realized that she had missed some warning signs, such as being pressured to act quickly so she didn’t have time to think things through.
“People said, ‘Why didn’t you just hang up,’ but I was afraid they would keep calling me. On Tuesday they called me about 18 times,” she said.
An ANZ spokesperson told Channel 7 that they ‘continue to work with the banking sector and other industries, regulators and government to address this issue.
“ANZ has robust processes and systems in place to protect our customers from fraud and scams,” they said.
‘ANZ will never email, call or text you requesting personal information such as your password, PIN, payment one-time password, RSA token, ANZ Shield or asking you to transfer money to another account .’
Daily Mail Australia contacted ANZ for comment.
* Not her real name
Guidelines to protect yourself from scams
Don’t click on links or open attachments from texts claiming to be from your bank or other trusted organization asking you to update or verify your information – just hit delete.
Search the internet for references to a similar scam.
Look for the secure symbol on the website to know if it is safe.
Never give out your personal, credit card or online account information if you get a call from your bank or other organization. Instead, call your bank to verify.
If you believe you have provided your account information to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
Report scams to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission via the report a scam page to help spread the word.
ANZ clients who believe they may have been a victim of a scam should immediately contact the bank on 13 33 50 or their visits website For more information.
Source: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission