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A new scam sweeping across the Top End

March 7, 2023 12:43 pm in by

Territorian’s are being warned of a new scam targeting vulnerable people who are willing to lend money to loved ones.

There are reports to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission of text messages from someone claiming to be a family member asking for money while out shopping for groceries.

It’s a development from the ‘Hi Mum’ scam that was circulating at the end of 2022, and this time the impostor’s messages are automatically saved as a contact – making it look like a legitimate text.

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Acting Commissioner at NT Consumer Affairs Rebecca Davey says with this type of scam, many elderly Territorian’s could fall victim.

“82 percent of these types of scams have been reported by people over the age of 55,” she says.

“Young people would probably see it as a scam straight away and delete it, but it’s the older generation that tends to trust information they receive on their phone that are getting hammered by scammers.”

Family targeted scams have left people hundreds out of pocket, with the ACCC reporting over $7 million lost to swindlers just last year.

For people who do fall victim to the scam, Ms Davey says it is not as easy getting that money back as it was sending it to the con-artist.

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“It will be difficult getting that money back, particularly where if it was transferred through bank account because you have authorized that transaction and it’s likely you won’t get that money back,” she says.

“We recommend never sending money where you don’t know where it’s going to, but if you do contact your bank immediately and contact the police immediately.”

If you have received this scam you can report it to Scamwatch.  

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