WARNING: $10k scam seemed real to Fraser Coast business owner
A DUNDOWRAN business owner, who came painfully close to losing $10,000 to scammers, has a warning for the community.
Builder Ken Brimfield received a phone call about 4.45pm on Monday from a man claiming to represent the 'NBN (National Broadband Network)' telling him there was an error with his connection.
"It seemed so realistic, I had no cause to doubt it," the 79-year-old said.
"They were very clever people, I've never seen such professionalism from a scam. I can't believe I let it slip past me.
"I want to warn others because I never thought I would be the type of person to be fooled but it can happen to anyone."
After speaking with Mr Brimfield for about half an hour, the pretender on the end of the phone had gotten enough information to access Mr Brimfield's computer and bank account.
"At the very end of the conversation I got this feeling something wasn't right," he said.
"Immediately I rang my accountant and he told me to put a hold on my accounts.
"Sure enough someone had tried to transfer $10,000 out of my account but thankfully my Westpac stopped it."
Mr Brimfield said he wanted to make it clear he "had his head screwed on".
"I am very aware and still manage my business," he said.
"I came so close to losing 10 grand. I am so disgusted with this because I believe there are plenty of people who would fall for it.
"Anyone who receives a phone call from the 'NBN' should treat it with a great deal of scepticism.
"I reported the matter to Scam Watch and had my computer checked for malware."
Maryborough Patrol Group Acting District Crime Prevention Coordinator Senior Constable Leigh Nancarrow said she was not aware of any other cases locally involving NBN copy cats.
"Scams can come in all shapes and sizes, and scammers will do just about anything to get your money," she said.
"Scammers are becoming more sophisticated in their activities and constantly improving their tactics through new technology and communications."
Snr Const Nancarrow said tips to protecting yourself included ignoring suspicious emails, letters, house visits, phone calls or SMS messages.
"Delete the emails, throw out the letters, hang up and stop any communication," she said.
If you get an offer you're interested in and you're not sure if it is a scam - do your own investigation and research, get any offers in writing and seek independent advice.
"If you're speaking with a business who are asking for details they should already have, think twice and hang up before passing on your personal details."
Snr Const Nancarrow explained scammers will play emotions to get what they want.
"They can become very personal and can be convincing," she said.
"If you sense this is happening, stop all communications. Basically follow your gut instinct.
"Many scams can result in other offences such as identity fraud or theft.
"If you think you have been defrauded, threatened, assaulted or had property stolen you should report these matters to your local police."