Scams are on the rise across Australia. Fraudsters are coming up with more ingenious ways to con people out of money. Durva Bhatt, from the Indian state of Gujarat, is an engineering student at Macquarie University in Sydney. Ms Bhatt was out jogging when she said she received a call from fraudsters pretending to the Australian Federal Police (AFP). The caller told her that multiple frauds were committed in her name, and they were going to arrest her unless she withdrew all her savings and deposited money in a nearby bank. Worried, she deposited $3,740 in the fraudster’s account.
Once deposited, the caller told her to sit on a nearby bench for ‘monitoring’. They withdrew the money while she sat petrified. Soon after, she reported the matter to the bank and the Kings Cross Police Station in Sydney. However, it was too late to recover her funds. Following the incident, AFP has said calls appeared to have been made from a legitimate AFP number as scammers have managed to mimic the number to disguise their identity. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s ScamWatch, which compiles data on scams, have come out and said scammers are targeting people using social media, email, and phone calls. They threaten people with arrest unless directions are followed. Usually, they demand payment into a nominated bank account, transfer of cryptocurrency, or purchase of online vouchers.
Everyone should be alert to these scams and never transfer money into any account following a suspicious phone call, no matter how convincing. No authority or bank will call you and make demands like these.