Mar 23, 2021

Man charged for conning 66-year-old retired nurse out of $15,000

Retired nurse conned

A man from Wollongong, NSW, has been charged after allegedly conning a 66-year-old retired nurse out of $15,000 in an elaborate ATO phone scam. 

According to NSW police, the woman received a call on February 17 from a female claiming to be from the Australian Taxation Office. After the caller threatened to arrest her, the woman was then transferred to a male who claimed to be a police officer. 

After “a number of hours” of intimidation, the retired nurse withdrew $15,000 from her account, and handed the cash over to the man. 

The man came to her Randwick, NSW, home at 1:30pm to collect the money, and the conned woman managed to discreetly take a photo of the man before reporting the incident to the Eastern Suburbs police force. 

Following an investigation, police were able to arrest the accused man on March 19 at Maroubra Police Station. 

The man was charged with dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception and was refused bail. He faced Parramatta Local Court on Saturday. 

To protect others from falling victim to similar scams, NSW police released a list of precautions:

  • If you receive a threatening phone call or a phone call in which the caller is 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 to create a high-pressure situation, forcing you 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, report it to local police or to the ACCC online at the SCAMwatch Report a Scam page or calling 1300 795 995.

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