International scammers have ripped off an elderly Victorian woman more than $46,000 in the space of one week.
According to Victoria Police, the Hawthorn woman was contacted by an overseas scammer by phone, claiming to work for a major Telco.
The man told the woman she had been the victim of a scam and in order to help fix the issue he would transfer her to speak with the company’s management team. While speaking to the victim, the offenders then gained remote access to the woman’s computer and online banking.
They told the woman they had deposited money into her account to ‘help fix her security’, then asked her to withdraw the cash and send it via MoneyGram to various bank accounts in India.
She was also asked to purchase iTunes gift cards and relay the gift card codes over the phone in order to ‘fix her security problem’. Under the scammers’ direction, the victim purchased more than 330 iTunes gift cards.
Police say the offenders made transfers of cash between the victim’s three bank accounts in order to confuse her and make it look like the balance of her account was increasing.
Apple has reminded customers that iTunes Gift Cards can ONLY be used to buy goods from the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or for an Apple Music membership. If you are asked to pay for anything else with an iTunes card, it is a scam.
Canberra also operated a website called Scam Watch, offering proactive advice for people who have been the victim of a scam.