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Warning to Aussies over ‘dad’ scam text: ‘I brought the wrong card’

An image of a car at a petrol station with a copy of the scam text message.
A new scam text is targetting Aussies. by pretending to be their dad. (Source: Getty / Provided)

A new scam text is doing the rounds, this time impersonating Aussie dads. The scam appears to come from ‘dad’ but is in fact a criminal after your money.

Despite not having the number saved in your phone, the sender will appear as ‘dad’ requesting the recipient to transfer funds to a bank account to be able to pay for petrol.

“Hey I brought the wrong card with me to the petrol station. Can I please borrow 175. I will send it back tonight,” the text reads.

It then provides a BSB and account number for the recipient to transfer the funds to. Aussies who receive the text should call their dad first to check the legitimacy of the text message before sending any funds.

This comes after many of Australia’s biggest banks warned Aussies about the same sort of scam text where the sender appeared legitimate.

NAB warned its 8.5 million customers about the scam back in November 2022. The text messages appeared to come from NAB’s phone numbers and could even appear in the same thread as legitimate messages from the bank. The scammer was using a ‘spoofing’ technique that copied NAB’s information.

The same spoofing technique is now being used to impersonate family contacts and target Aussies who are just trying to help out a family member they believe needs assistance.

These can also be known as ‘family impersonation’ scams, which were brought to the public's attention last year with the notorious ‘Hi mum’ scam, which caught out more than 1,150 Australians in the first seven months of 2022. Total reported losses from the ‘Hi mum’ scam reached $2.6 million. The vast majority of these scams were reported in June and July last year.

In the ‘Hi mum’ scam, the criminal claimed they had lost or damaged their phone and were making contact from a new number. Once they developed a rapport with their target, the scammer asked for personal information such as photos for their social media profile or money to help urgently pay a bill, contractor or replace the phone.

Text message scams were by far the most common in 2022. Scamwatch data showed there were more than 79,000 reports last year, with Aussies losing more than $28 million.

Last year, Aussies lost more than $568 million to scams, and that was just from the number that were reported. Scamwatch estimates only around a third of scams are actually reported, meaning the actual amount of money lost is likely much higher.

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