Man charged after retired nurse loses 15k in phone scam - Eastern Suburbs

Saturday, 20 March 2021 08:12:13 AM

A man will face court today charged over an alleged phone scam that defrauded a retired Sydney nurse of $15,000 last month.

On Wednesday 17 February 2021, a 66-year-old woman reportedly received a phone call, from an unknown woman, claiming to be from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Investigators have been told the caller threatened the woman with arrest before transferring her to a man, claiming to be a police officer. The woman was intimidated over a number of hours before withdrawing $15,000 from her account.

About 1.30pm, a man attended the woman’s Randwick home and she was able to obtain a photo of him before handing over the money.

The woman reported the incident to Eastern Beaches Police Area Command, who commenced an investigation.

Following inquiries, detectives arrested a 21-year-old man at Maroubra Police Station yesterday (Friday 19 March 2021).

He was charged with dishonestly obtain financial advantage etc by deception.

The Wollongong man was refused bail to appear at Parramatta Local Court today (Saturday 20 March 2021).

Police would like to remind the public to take the following precautions to reduce the risk of being scammed by cold-callers:

• If you receive a threatening phone call (and demanding money), hang up immediately;

• Do not disclose personal details to the caller;

• Never provide your personal or banking details to a person who calls you;

• Never provide your financial PIN or account passwords to anyone;

• Do not make any payments to the caller, either via phone, internet, or cash;

• If you are suspicious about the credentials of a person on the phone, ask questions of them. If they avoid answering or refuse to provide information, hang up;

• Don’t let scammers pressure you – scammers use detailed scripts to convince you that they’re the real deal and create a high-pressure situation to make a decision on the spot;

• If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately; and

• Contact police immediately to report the incident.

To find out more information about scams or to find out other ways to protect yourself, visit www.scamwatch.gov.au.

If you have been the victim of a scam, you can report it to local police or to the ACCC online at the ‘SCAMwatch report a scam’ page or by calling 1300 795 995.