A small business owner was shocked to lose $15,000 in minutes after his credit account was hacked.
Western Australian man Aaron Scott discovered that $8,000 had been debited from his ANZ holding account at 4am.
Mr. Scott immediately tried to contact the bank and drove to his local branch when he lost another $7,000.
Mr Scott, who runs a fitness business in Albany, has lashed out at the bank for only solving the problem after four hectic and stressful weeks.
A small business owner has gone through a time of fear, worry and stress after $15,000 was stolen from his bank account
When his phone beeped one morning in late May, it was a text from his bank, ANZ, saying his password had been changed.
Mr. Scott checked his account and saw that $8,000 had been stolen from his credit account in amounts of $500 and $1,000 around 4 AM.
Scared and panicked, Mr. Scott called the bank’s helpline, where he was told to personally go to his local branch to have the account closed.
In the 10 minutes it took him to drive to his local ANZ branch, another $7,000 was stolen from his account.
“If my money isn’t safe in the bank, where is my money safe?” Mr. Scott told news.com.au.
After 40 minutes on the phone with the bank’s fraud department, he was none the wiser about what had happened and was sure he was going to lose the $15,000.
Bank officials had no answers to his questions and the phone call was filled with long periods of silence, he said.
Although ANZ was able to track the money to another bank, staff told Scott the $15,000 could not be recovered.
The businessman doesn’t know how the hackers got into his account and was frustrated when asked if he had accidentally disclosed his bank details or allowed criminals to access his accounts online.
“In no way did I give remote access to anyone,” he said.
A bank investigation eventually revealed that the money had been stolen in an ‘unauthorized transaction’ and that Mr Scott was not at fault.
The news came as a relief to Mr. Scott, who thought he would be the one to pay back the money he had not spent.
When Aaron Scott’s phone beeped one morning in late May, it was a text from his bank, ANZ, saying his password had been changed. An ANZ bank logo is depicted
Mr Scott said there was ‘no way’ he was allowing scammers to access his bank account details
He said the thought of losing the money permanently upset him greatly and it was the first thing on his mind every morning.
Mr Scott previously filed a case with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority and told police on the assumption that the bank would not reimburse him.
But a few days after the case was filed, and after weeks of trying to solve the problem on their own, ANZ finally refunded the money to Mr. Scott’s account.
“It was handled badly. While I’m not their biggest customer, I’ve had those accounts for 27 years. It was a great experience,” he said.
In a statement, Shaq Johnson, head of customer protection at ANZ, said he knows how stressful these types of experiences can be for customers.
“We consider all cases for reimbursement based on their specific circumstances,” the bank said.
“Over the past 12 months, we have increased our fees and goodwill payments for fraud, scams and unauthorized transactions.”
“We always try to work constructively and positively with our clients – we know this can be a stressful time for them,” he added.
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 suspected financial fraud via the report a scam page to help spread the word.
Source: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission