Popular mummy blogger reveals how she lost all her savings to ‘hackers’ after falling for cruel scam | Daily Mail Online

Popular mummy blogger Constance Hall claims she has lost all her life savings after falling victim to a cruel real estate scam.

The 38-year-old, from Western Australia, said she had unknowingly sent thousands of dollars to ‘hackers’ after she was approved for a rental property.

Constance posted a lengthy ‘online cry’ about the cruel scam to Facebook on Wednesday and said it was officially ‘the worst school holidays ever’.

The mother-of-seven explained she was looking to move out of her mother’s home and had been applying for rentals with a six-month lease.

Popular mummy blogger Constance Hall (pictured) has claimed to have fallen victim to an elaborate real estate scam that saw her lose all her hard-earned savings

Constance posted a lengthy ‘online cry’ about the cruel scam to Facebook on Wednesday and said it was officially ‘the worst school holidays ever’ (pictured, four of her seven kids

After applying for numerous homes and getting no bites the business owner decided to look at the properties that had been listed for the longest.

‘And there it was, a beautiful house with a pool and garden and four furnished bedrooms only available for four months, perfect,’ Constance wrote.

‘I’d never usually never spend that kind of money on rent, but I felt like we all just needed a break, and I could afford it. It just meant I couldn’t save while I was there.’

She contacted a real estate agency in Nedlands, Perth, and was taken for a tour of the home last Tuesday, later submitting an online application.

On Wednesday afternoon, the single mother received an email that said she had been approved and to transfer the funds for the bond as well as four weeks’ rent.

‘It was a lot of money. I was clearing out my savings account and part of last week’s wage, that’s a big hit for the school holidays, but I thought about how excited the kids will be when I tell them, it will be like a holiday in itself,’ she wrote.

‘So I paid it, sent the remittance straight away and told them as soon as possible would be great and announced it to the kids who were so excited.’

Constance (pictured) posted a lengthy ‘online cry’ about the cruel scam to Facebook on Wednesday and said it was officially ‘the worst school holidays ever’

The mother-of-seven (pictured) explained she was looking to move out of her mother’s home and had been applying for rentals with a six month lease

However, on Friday morning Constance received a call from the agent who said the agency had been hacked.

‘The last two emails that I had received on the same email thread weren’t actually from them, it was hackers,’ she told her followers.

‘The bank account details weren’t really theirs, and the house was never approved.’

The Perth mother said she had felt ‘stupid’ and kicked herself for letting it happen.

‘But I am a businesswoman, I pay large sums internationally often, I’m scam savvy and don’t pay anything that hasn’t come from a known contact with with a credible email history, so no, I’m not stupid,’ she said.

She said this could have happened to ‘literally anyone desperate to get a rental’.

Constance said she was told by both her bank and the real estate agency that there was little they could do to recover her life savings.

Her bank said that due to the nature of the scam and because it had been an authorised transaction, the chances of getting her money back were slim.

However, on Friday morning Constance’s dreams were dashed when she received a call from the agent who said the agency had been hacked

‘The police told me that I had to make an online cyber report but warned that they would be unlikely to recover the funds,’ the mother wrote.

‘The real estate maintained that there was nothing they could do but assured me that their emails were now secure again.’

Of her savings, her bank’s fraud department was able to recover just $7.57 – forcing the mother-of-seven to return to square one.

Constance said the scam had ruined her kids time off school because ‘mum’s broke’ but said she was more fortunate than most and was trying to be grateful.

‘But saving has never been easy for me, and I was so proud of that money and felt like I was finally doing something that represented how well I have done despite all the odds,’ she wrote.

The single mum urged others looking for a rental property or putting down a deposit for the house to call the real estate agency before transferring any funds.

‘Even if you have already been communicating on the exact same email thread, it can’t hurt to call them and make sure it’s still them,’ she finished the post.

Of her savings, her bank’s fraud department was able to recover just $7.57 – forcing the mother-of-seven to return to square one 

The mummy blogger received an outpouring of support in the comments on the post which has been liked by over 17,000 people. 

She thanked her followers for starting a GoFundMe but said the kind gestures would ‘go further on yourselves or to people in need’.

Some said the real estate agency was partly responsible with one woman suggesting her personal information hadn’t been secured sufficiently. 

‘That’s shocking since you had already been in liaison with the agent and the timeline of the hack had been perfect to your circumstance,’ another wrote. 

‘It seems like the real estate should have insurance for something like this?!’

Scamwatch revealed Australians have lost $295million through scams already in 2022, with 105,153 reports filed.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM PHISHING SCAMS:

Do not click on any links or open attachments from emails claiming to be from your bank or another trusted organisation and asking you to update or verify your details – just press delete.

Do an internet search using the names or exact wording of the email or message to check for any references to a scam – many scams can be identified this way.

Look for the secure symbol. Secure websites can be identified by the use of ‘https:’ rather than ‘http:’ at the start of the internet address, or a closed padlock or unbroken key icon at the bottom corner of your browser window.

Legitimate websites that ask you to enter confidential information are generally encrypted to protect your details.

Never provide your personal, credit card or online account details if you receive a call claiming to be from your bank or any other organisation. 

Instead, ask for their name and contact number and make an independent check with the organisation in question before calling back.