An Australian great-grandmother has lost her entire life savings in a cruel online phishing scam.
Marie Marshall, 66, was left with just $4 in her wallet after a scammer posing as a Commonwealth Bank employee convinced her to transfer $21,000 into a new account to “keep it safe”.
The man contacted Geelong widow Marshall back in May and posed as an employee with CommBank’s fraud department.
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He quoted her account numbers and balances before convincing her to transfer her money to the second account.
However, Marshall would never see that money again.
The scammer stole all the funds in her account and racked up over $3000 on her credit card.
Now, Marshall’s devastated family are speaking out in the hope of warning others about the cruel scam.
Marshall’s daughter Shelley Thomson told Sunrise her mother was devastated by the fraud.
“She was due to retire at the end of this year,” told Sunrise.
“It was all she had, basically, she was going to upgrade her car to get it through to the rest of her life.
“It is just devastating, it has really affected her and us as a family.”
Thomson said banks needed to overhaul their systems to better protect customers.
“I believe that they need to be more accountable,” she said.
“Clearly, these are very sophisticated scams going on, someone already has your details, it makes it very convincing, people are going fall for that.”
Westpac was able to recover $5500 for Marshall, and CommBank has offered compensation of $4490, however still require $2500 of the credit card bill to be repaid.
Meanwhile, Marshall’s son Chris has started a GoFundMe page to help out his heartbroken mother.
“Anyone that knows Marie, knows how hard life has been,” the page reads.
“She raised three children by herself as a widow and has worked hard throughout her life.
“She has always gone without and budgeted her entire life on minimum wages.”
As of Monday morning, the fundraising page had raised over $8000.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has a list of guidelines to help people protect themselves from phishing scams. It recommends the following:
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