A Queensland bank is spreading awareness about impersonation scams targeting community and religious groups during Scam Awareness Week.
Bank of Queensland is urging Australians to be on the lookout for scammers after Queensland-based BOQ customer Jane Perry recently fell victim to these deceiving tactics.
Two months ago, Jane was enjoying her evening at home when she received a text message from who she thought was her Church Pastor.
Aged in her late 70s, Jane works at the church, and this was the first time she had ever received a text from her Pastor.
Her Pastor advised he was in a meeting and urgently required $400 worth of Amazon gift cards for a cancer patient’s birthday.
Caught up in the urgency of the situation, Jane purchased the gift cards but became suspicious about the interaction.
The next day, Jane emailed her pastor who called her straight away advising that he never contacted her.
Ms Perry said the scammer got her details from a church newsletter posted online and was shocked by the level of sophistication and deception.
“We tried to get the funds back, but it was too late,” she said.
“I’ve since taken the time to research and educate myself on these types of scams – how they work and the warning signs.”
She said if she could give on piece of advice to Australians, it would be to proceed with caution.
Bank of Queensland customer advocate Ben Griffin said scammers tended to follow a similar pattern – they connect with the target by phone, email, social media or online and create a strong sense of urgency.