If you’ve seen someone in a bright T-shirt featuring a witty image of Australian pop culture, you might’ve seen Warwick Levy’s work.

Mr Levy built Lonely Kids Club into a thriving business by leveraging his Instagram account, with more than 20,000 followers, to not only boost sales but also connect with his customers.

“It was more than clothes, it was a community. An online safe space fostering connection and advocating for good mental health,” he says in the podcast Anatomy of a Scam.

Having personal conversations over Instagram with his followers was business as usual.

“I innately want to help people and make a positive difference,” he tells host Deborah Knight.

When one of his followers reached out for Mr Levy’s help, he was more than happy to offer it. But his good intentions were quickly used against him when a scammer, posing as a customer in need, exploited his trust to gain access to his Instagram account.

After gaining access, the scammer instantly locked Mr Levy out, changed his passwords and hijacked his account, which was an integral part of his business. The scammer promised to give the account back to Mr Levy after he did one thing.

“My heart kind of sank,” he says.

His account was being held hostage unless Mr Levy recorded himself promoting a cryptocurrency scam in an attempt to lure his trusting followers.

This type of scam involves extortion and ultimatums where scammers take advantage of digital systems and information.

According to David Lacey from IDCARE, an organisation supporting victims of scams and ID theft, in these situations “there’s no good option, they’re all bad ones, and you’ve got to pick the best one.”

Listen to Anatomy of a Scam on your preferred podcast app to find out how Mr Levy’s story unfolds. To find out more about how we’re protecting your accounts, visit: commbank.com.au/safe

Anatomy of a Scam — episode 5


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