Australian 89 Year Old Loses 200000 to Fake Police Scam

This is just horrible.

An 89 year old lady on the Gold Coast lost $200,000 in late 2016 to a fake police scam. Here is a news article about it:…/woman-89-loses-200000-to-…

Scammers are specifically targeting retirees like this lady, and telling them they are from the police, and that someone has attempted to take money from their bank. They then tell the victim not to notify the bank, and tell the victim to transfer a large sum of money to a UK bank account as part of a “sting”.

As an IT guy I have known too many people who have fallen victim to scammers. I am furious that scum like this specifically target elderly and vulnerable people. We need to warn our elderly friends and relatives. Treat all inbound communication (calls, emails or SMS messages) as suspicious until proven otherwise.

Quite simply, your bank or the police will never call you (or email you) and ask you to transfer money anywhere. Microsoft or Optus or Dell or whoever will also never call you (or email you) and tell you your computer is infected.

If you have fallen victim to a scam, alert the police or online via Scamwatch. It’s important to realise that falling victim to a scammer doesn’t make you an idiot. These guys are really good at what they do, and use scripts that they have honed over years and hundreds or thousands of victims until their spiel is just about perfect. Please don’t victim blame. Do what you can to protect yourself.

If you want to protect your computer from some scams (no antivirus could stop this scam), the best virus protection is Malwarebytes. Here’s an article I wrote explaining why.

I’m saddened that we live in a world where we need antivirus, and need to be on our guard against scammers. Why can’t everyone just show love and respect to each other? I’ve heard it said that the opposite of love isn’t hate – it’s selfishness. And scamming is a sad example of that.

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