A single text message costs a Sydney man $50,000 in callous scam just before Christmas
A Sydney man has been left 'devastated' after cruel scammers tricked him into providing personal details that allowed them to steal almost $50,000.
Gerald Chin, 41, was planning to take his elderly parents on a trip to the United States this Christmas before he was scammed out of $49,000.
Mr Chin had received what he thought was an innocent text message from HSBC asking him to call them on the evening of November 29.
The text message appeared in the same thread as legitimate text messages from the bank, leading him to believe it wasn't a scam.
Gerald Chin, 41, planned to take his elderly parents on a trip to the United States this Christmas before he was scammed out of $49,000
The text message appeared in the same message thread as legitimate text messages from the bank, leading him to believe it wasn't a scam (pictured is the text)
aAfter calling the number from the text message, he spoke to a scammer named Adrian, who spoke with a British accent. During the phone call, he was asked to provide his username and personal information so that his identity could be verified.
Mr Chin was told someone in Perth had tried to hack into his account and transfer $49,000, but HSBC's fraud team had blocked it.
Adrian then suggested locking his account to prevent further hacking attempts and asked him to provide bank codes from his phone.
Mr Chin initially thought the call was legitimate as he had received no notifications of money being transferred from his account.
However, when the scammer called back the next day and asked for bank codes again, things suddenly clicked.
By the time Mr. Chin called his bank, $49,000 had disappeared from his account.
He has been left 'traumatised' by the elaborate scam and is finding it difficult to sleep at night now that his personal details are known to the scammers.
Mr. Chin planned to take his elderly parents on an all-expenses-paid trip to the United States to surprise his younger brother during the holidays.
“I'm also not sure if I'll get another chance as this whole incident has set me back a few years,” he said. 7News.
'I am devastated and devastated to realize that I have been scammed as it has taken a long time to save that money and the financial stress has set in now that I know I will struggle to pay my mortgage and bills.'
HSBC customer says he is 'traumatised' by the elaborate scam and struggles to sleep at night now that his personal details are known to scammers
A mock-up of the scam text messages sent to business owner Paul Tefry earlier this year
Mr Chin is now working with HSBC Bank's fraud team to get his money back; however, there is no guarantee that he will be refunded.
He believes that there should be more safeguards to protect bank customers against scams by clever scammers.
“What infuriated me was that no transaction notifications were sent to my mobile or email, which could have prompted me to act faster as it is quite a large amount of money,” he said.
In a statement, an HSBC spokesperson said they could not speak to a specific case due to privacy, but said it takes customer safety “very seriously.”
“We thoroughly investigate all reported cases of scam or fraud,” they said.
“We advise customers to ignore requests for confidential information such as PINs, login passwords or verification codes via phone calls, emails or text messages.”
In June, an ANZ bank customer was scammed out of $130,000 in just five minutes after being approached by a scammer with a British accent.
The scammers' fake text message told Paul that his ANZ account had been compromised and appeared in the same chat as other legitimate messages from the bank
Paul Tefry received a text message he thought was from his bank, telling him his account had been compromised and he needed to transfer his money.
Over the next four days, Mr Trefry transferred $130,000 to the new, 'safer' account the scammers controlled.
ANZ Bank contacted him a week later to let him know he had been scammed.
“They asked me about a $17,500 transfer to one account, and I said, 'Well guys, I'll just follow your instructions,' and they said, 'No, we wouldn't instruct you to transfer money to different accounts. '.
'…He (the ANZ representative) said 'look, it's a very elaborate scam these guys have done, and they're copying ANZ's protocol to the bone, unfortunately we won't be able to do much for you' .'
ANZ has recovered some of the money, but Mr Trefry is still $85,000 out of pocket.