A northern Southland farmer’s sons are out of pocket by $7000 after he fell victim to an online scam.
The farmer received an email on his phone from Westpac, saying he had to verify his account details.
“It said you need to re-log on to your Westpac account. Had all the correct logos and everything looked legit.
“Then it said I needed to reset the password and it came up with security questions like what was your grandma’s maiden name so I thought it definitely was Westpac.”
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Unfortunately it wasn’t Westpac that had emailed him and he had unwittingly given a scammer access to his accounts.
“They’ve taken $3500 out of each of my boy’s accounts. They’ve worked pretty hard for that money.
“Lucky I don’t have $100,000 in the farm account or that would have gone too.”
“I’m so, so fussy when comes to this sort of thing and I just got caught out.”
The farmer had contacted Westpac, who were investigating the scam, he said.
On the bank’s website, it says it was notified of an email phishing scam on March 7, which is the one that caught the farmer out.
Another phishing scam, targeting the general public with a sending address from a Westpac staff member, was reported on March 21.
Phishing is a fraudulent attempt by a third party to steal personal information, usually made through email.
The incident has also been reported to the police.
Senior constable Adam Roberts, of Riversdale, said initial police inquiries indicated that the scam might have been operated by a New Zealand offender.
The farmer was not the only one who had reported having money taken out of his account in the area recently.
“A teenager recently reported having $110 missing out of their account after shopping on the Amazon and Wish websites,” Roberts said.
“We had a talk about basic online security messages. Your bank will never email you asking for your account details and if you’re shopping online it might be better to use a debit card and only have the exact amount you need on it so scammers don’t have access to your accounts.”