Stu­dent vic­tim of card scam

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS -

AN in­ter­na­tional stu­dent study­ing in Perth has lost more than $13,000 af­ter she was threat­ened with de­por­ta­tion in a phone scam.

The scam­mers cold­called the stu­dent and pre­tended to be from the Im­mi­gra­tion Depart­ment, de­mand­ing she pay them or risk hav­ing her visa can­celled.

She was in­structed to buy Google Play cards from sev­eral Aldi su­per­mar­kets in the south­ern sub­urbs be­fore pass­ing on the cards’ codes to the scam­mers.

Consumer Pro­tec­tion com­mis­sioner David Hill­yard said it was not un­til she went to Cock­burn Cen­tral’s Big W store that she was told she might be the vic­tim of a scam.

“Wool­worths and Coles have been highly re­spon­sive to our cam­paign to train staff to alert any cus­tomers who in­tend to make large pur­chases of these cards, which scam­mers now use as their pre­ferred cur­rency,” he said.

“Putting doubt in the mind of scam vic­tims may trig­ger them to get ad­vice be­fore go­ing ahead with the pur­chases. The cam­paign is aimed at dis­rupt­ing the scam­mers’ modus operandi which seeks to put their vic­tims un­der pres­sure with the threat of ar­rest and, in this case, de­por­ta­tion un­less the money is paid im­me­di­ately.

“We would ap­peal to all re­tail­ers who sell iTunes and Google Play cards to put in place a process where staff are aware of this is­sue and will ques­tion cus­tomers when they at­tempt to make pur­chases in­volv­ing un­usu­ally high amounts of money.”

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.scam­net.wa. En­quiries can be made to Consumer Pro­tec­tion by email [email protected] or by call­ing 1300 30 40 54.

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