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NAB bankers save Aussie from devastating $25 million scam: ‘Several red flags’

The Aussie was offered an attractive term-deposit rate from someone claiming to work for a bank, but it was too good to be true.

A wealthy Aussie has narrowly avoided losing $25 million after “several red” flags went off indicating it was an investment scam.

Daniel Smith* had received a phone call from what he believed was a reputable bank, offering him an attractive term-deposit rate. He decided to contact his current bank, NAB, to see if they could match the offer.

While the proposed interest rate wasn’t extreme enough to raise alarm bells, the fact Daniel was looking to move $25 million in a single transaction was enough to make his banker suspicious.

NAB ATMs
A NAB customer was saved from being scammed out of millions after his bankers noticed a few key red flags. (Source: Getty)

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

The transaction was flagged with NAB’s private wealth banker, Amit, as well as an investment specialist with the bank. They were asked to investigate the supposed deposit rate and documents Daniel had received.

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“We went through the various pieces of material sent to the customer from the caller, only to discover several red flags,” Amit said.

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These included an odd logo placement, the bank having a different Australian Business Number to that listed on its official website, grammatical errors throughout the documents, and a deposit rate offered to Daniel that was not listed online.

The team concluded it was indeed an investment scam and called Daniel to stop him from proceeding with the offer.

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‘Can be convincing’

Aussies lose more money to investment scams than any other type of scam. Scamwatch received more than 8,000 reports in 2023. In total, Aussies lost more than $291 million to investment scams last year.

A NAB banker also recently stopped a Tasmanian couple from losing $40,000 to an investment scam, which promised a 12 per cent return on their term deposit and a guaranteed payout if the firm went bust.

ASIC says fraudsters will often pretend to be from a financial services company or bank offering low-risk investment products, such as government bonds or fixed-term loans.

“Because scammers impersonate real investment providers in these scams, they can be convincing,” ASIC’s MoneySmart said.

ASIC recommends watching out for fake comparison websites or enquiry forms, being wary of surprise offers to invest, and getting someone you trust - like a family member or finance professional - to check it out first.

It’s also important to check the account details, as well as things like addresses, phone numbers or emails, match the information that is publicly available.

* Name changed for privacy reasons