An Australian teenager lost all her savings worth $37000 in an online scam. Here is what happened.
In a shocking turn of events, a teenage girl named Aurora Casilli from Albany, Western Australia, lost around Australian $37000 within a matter of seconds in a phone banking scam. The 18-year-old was scammed out of all her life’s savings that she had accumulated since beginning work at the age of just 14. Her dream was to buy a house of her own. She was so focused on her dream that she was working at three jobs simultaneously! After losing her money, Aurora says she “has nothing to her name,” news.com.au reported.
How it happened
Aurora said that on December 3 last year, she received a text message which claimed that an anonymous user was trying to make a transfer of money from her account. The message was fake, but she believed it to be from the National Australia Bank where her account was. The reason she believed it was that it was from the same number and in the same text message thread as the previous messages from the bank.
The message further requested the receiver to call on their number in case she had not authorised the payment. In a “state of panic,” she dialed the mentioned number. She even claimed that music and voice prompts were identical to the previous conversations that she had in the past with the bank. The report says that she even “waited an hour” on hold to connect with someone which made the situation even more real!
When she finally got connected, the scammer suggested Aurora transfer her entire savings into another bank account to ensure full safety. Fully convinced that her money was in danger, she quickly transferred $36561.37 to another account. As soon as the scammer hung up, Aurora realised that the money was not actually transferred to a NAB account, but to a Commonwealth Bank account. She immediately realised that she had lost her money.
Sadly, when she contacted the bank, they mentioned that the bank is not liable for the lost funds as the payment was authorised by her.
TIPS to stay vigilant against scammers
- Never transfer any money on anyone’s say so. Remember, a bank will never call you or ask you to do so.
- Every time, check the account details fully before transferring money online.
- It is advisable to cross check the details from the bank by visiting it or calling it on a direct number taken from a trusted source, like the actual website or your bank account booklet/brochure.
- Never act out of panic. Always check the details of the message.
- Read the message carefully. Look out for the grammatical or spelling mistakes.
- Never click on any suspicious links or phone numbers.
- Above all, never call or speak to any strangers regarding your personal financial transactions.