Immunologist Alan Baxter lost almost $5,000 (£2,800) in a WhatsApp scam and has since criticized ANZ’s stance on the scam attempt
A father lost nearly $5,000 (£2,800) in a WhatsApp scam before realizing the scammer’s poor punctuation.
Australian immunologist Alan Baxter nearly fell victim to the ‘mother and father’ scam after receiving a text message impersonating his child.
He has now criticized banks for not doing enough to stop cybercriminals, with ANZ allegedly initially refusing to investigate further.
The message sent to Alan read: “Hi dad, this is my temporary number. I’m using an old device until my phone is fixed.”
The scammer then went on to say that he needed cash urgently.
However, Alan said his son would not send any text without punctuation and contacted bank ANZ’s helpline to report the scam.
He said Daily Mail Australia : “My son is an English teacher so I was alarmed by the lack of grammar and points.
“I first contacted ANZ’s customer hotline but was told so [the scam] had nothing to do with the Bank’s activities and there was nothing they could do.
“I thought it would be an opportunity for the bank to close or freeze the account and even investigate the funds received.”
Alan claims the employee refused to take the scammer’s account details.
In a June 18 Twitter post, Alan said, “So a general warning: if someone is trying to trick you into sending money to the following ANZ account, it’s probably a scam: Name: George MM BSB: 016 080 Account number: 316157952 .”
He added: “All of this raises the question of the responsibility of a bank that facilitates fraud in a situation like this.
“They are clearly profiting from the scam, providing the resources to make it happen and refusing to act even when offered evidence.”
In response to his tweet, ANZ said a screenshot had been sent to its hoax and cybersecurity department.
The bank has since said it is “restricting” the fraudulent account as part of an investigation.
In a statement sent to the Mail, it added that it had taken steps “immediately” to address the incident.
However, since the investigation is not yet complete, he cannot comment further.
Other users also responded to Alan’s tweets, saying they had received similar scam texts on the messaging platform, addressing them as mom or dad.
Some said they were close to falling in love with her too.
The Mirror has reached out to ANZ for comment.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/dad-nearly-lost-3k-whatsapp-27332462 Dad lost nearly £3,000 to WhatsApp scammer posing as son - but one tiny detail gave it away - World News