“During one of the phone calls, I heard a rooster in the background,” she recalled. “At that moment, I had the impression that something was wrong… But I convinced myself that it was nothing. There are not many roosters in Adelaide”
Despite the warning signs, the relationship continued to grow.
Then came the request for money.
She says that one day she received an urgent call from her love saying he was in Bali for work and a piece of equipment had exploded. If he didn’t remove it, he claimed, the police would arrest him. He said he urgently needed $5,000 transferred on behalf of a woman, allegedly the receptionist at his hotel.
Looking back now, she can spot the signs – but at the time, she thought someone she cared deeply about was in trouble.
“I was afraid that the love of my life was arrested.”
Spot a relationship scam
Unfortunately, Cindy is not alone.
The latest Targeted Scams Report, published by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, places relationship scams among the top three scams causing the most financial damage, with Australians losing $142 million to relationship scams last year. last.
Relationship scammers aim to steal your heart to defraud you.
“They usually create fake online identities designed to lure you in. Once they have earned your trust, often investing several months of close contact, they use your new relationship to ask you to send them money or gifts. “, explains James Roberts, general. Head of Group Fraud at Commonwealth Bank.
“They may implore you, ask you for money to solve a non-existent health, travel or family issue, or ask you to transfer assets on their behalf – using manipulative, psychologically controlling and deceptive tactics to obtain this that they want.”
His advice if you suspect you may be interacting with a scammer?
“Cut off contact immediately.”
Not so happy ending
To make matters worse, two days later the scammer demanded an additional $10,000 from Cindy. After forwarding the second time, the scammer stopped communicating.
It was then that Cindy knew she had been the victim of a relationship scam.
Although she works for a bank, she says shame kept her from coming forward. She still hasn’t told her family about the experience.
However, she is determined to let her experience be a warning to others.
“Even people who work in a bank can fall victim to scams,” she says.
“I now work on the Fraud team and use my experience to help educate customers on staying safe.”
His only advice: “When in doubt, ask for help and talk to someone you trust.”
Cindy’s advice comes during Scams Awareness Week, which in 2022 runs from November 7-11. This year’s theme is “How to spot a scam?” “.
To help support this campaign, the ABC is running a number of group-wide and external activities to raise awareness of the scams to ensure people and businesses are better equipped to stop. Check. Dismiss.
To learn more, visit: combank.com.au/safe