If you were tuning into your More FM radio station on the way to work this morning, you would have heard Lana one of the announcers discuss her unwilling participation in an online bank account scam. A call out to listeners in the community to make contact with the radio station to see if this was a common experience, had More FM receive a huge influx of calls saying this very thing has happened to them!
One women caller, who at that very particular moment was going through the experience of this scam, had her husband on the phone to the bank, while she was on the phone to the radio station telling her extremely fresh experience of how she had spotted small amounts being withdrawn from her bank accounts over a period of several months resulting in hundreds being taken. Another caller had discovered these mystery withdrawals a week ago, and was in the midst of communications with her bank to see if she can get her money back – a total of around $2,000 had been taken from her accounts without her knowledge.
During Covid, online scams have increased dramatically and have become quite sophisticated. This one in particular has a pattern of small withdrawals of around $50 to $150 being made where the money is going is over to the forensics but its seems that it was for purchases to pay for things via online retail sites or could it possibly be funneled into scammers accounts? The withdrawals are so sporadic that the victims mentioned that they went easily unnoticed in the daily account activity. Over a period of months if not longer if a person does not monitor their account conduct thousands could be taken.
This is a timely to reminder to all of us that times have most definitely changed and the once easy to spot scams, are now more sophisticated and harder to detect. This is where new habits need to come into play.
If something seems amiss – check into it – is it your husband using the wrong card to purchase his lunch or is ‘Sushi King’ a fake name for an account hacker? Were you in that store that weekend or was that $90.00 purchase not your own? Even if you are one of the lucky ones and have never had someone tapping into your hard-earned cash, it is a good practice to get into as with closer monitoring it is easier to see where perhaps you have spent a bit much on takeaways recently or hitting the shops a bit hard. Be it at the end of the day or at the end of the week, run your eye over your accounts and get into a new habit that can only be beneficial to your bank balance, as well as fighting the invisible fight against online scammers.
The moral of this tale is, have some accountability of your account activity!