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Commonwealth Bank scammer's tactic that 'shocked' Aussie mum

Scammers are impersonating well-known organisations, including big banks like Commonwealth Bank, to try to steal people’s personal information.

A Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) customer who narrowly avoided being scammed has revealed the one thing the fraudster did that left her “shocked”. Melbourne mum Phoebe Alexander received a phone call last week from someone claiming to work for CBA.

The man rang from a Brisbane number and claimed there had been a suspicious transaction of $99 made from her account. The user-generated content creator had previously had her account hacked and told Yahoo Finance the call initially seemed legitimate.

“He said to me, ‘There has been a suspicious transaction on your account, it has been flagged in our system as fraudulent. Have you been on any public WiFi?’,” Alexander said.

Commonwealth Bank customer Phoebe Alexander and an inset of the Bank logo
Commonwealth Bank customer Phoebe Alexander has revealed how she narrowly avoided being scammed by someone impersonating her bank. (Source: TikTok/AAP)

Have you fallen victim to a scam? Contact tamika.seeto@yahooinc.com to share your story

Alexander said the man was incredibly polite and helpful over the phone but said a few alarm bells started to go off as the conversation went on.

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“One red flag was he didn’t ask me any security questions or anything like that,” Alexander said.

After telling her he would block her card and send her a new one, the scammer also asked her to open her banking app and check whether the card details in the app matched up with her physical card. He told her not to disclose her card number.

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Alexander, who was in the middle of daycare pick-up at the time, said this seemed odd to her and she told him she would have to call him back.

“Even then he wasn’t like, ‘No, no no’. He said, ‘Yeah that’s fine. You give us a callback or is there a time that I could call you back that suited you better?’,” she said.

The Aussie mum later called CBA on its publicly listed number and was told the call was a scam.

The one thing that surprised her about the scam call? How “shockingly good” the customer service was.

“The customer service was amazing. I was really shocked because Commonwealth Bank’s customer service is good, so the scammer providing good customer service threw me off,” Alexander said.

CBA urges customers to ‘remain vigilant’

A CBA spokesperson told Yahoo Finance scammers were impersonating well-known companies to trick them into sharing their personal information.

“We encourage customers to remain vigilant and stop, check, reject suspicious calls, emails or texts. If you receive an unsolicited call from an unknown number then hang up and call that organisation back on a verified number,” the spokesperson said.

The major bank rolled out the CallerCheck feature to the CommBank app last year, which allows customers to check they are speaking with a legitimate bank worker.

“This safety feature allows customers to verify whether a call claiming to be from CommBank is legitimate, by triggering a security message in the customer’s CommBank app,” the spokesperson said.

“If you think you have been scammed or if you notice an unusual transaction, contact your bank immediately.”

Aussies lost $92 million to impersonation scams last year, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), with $11 million lost to scammers posing as banks.

Alexander is urging other Aussies to double check any phone calls they receive are legitimate.

“I would recommend getting off the call and calling them back yourself,” she said. “It could be them, it could not be them but you’re better to question it.”

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