Sophisticated scammers are impersonating trusted organisations like banks and government agencies, hijacking their phone numbers via a trick known as ID spoofing.
“Criminals are using ‘ID spoofing’ techniques to gain trust and appear to be calling or texting from a trusted provider,” explains David Lacey, founder and managing director of IDCARE — a charity supporting victims of scams and ID theft.
The fourth episode of the podcast Anatomy of a Scam includes the story of Jessica Ridley, a senior journalist at Nine, who fell victim to a sophisticated scam that appeared to come from a legitimate number.
After a suspicious bank transaction, Ms Ridley received a text message claiming to be from her “bank”, followed by a call from a member of the purported bank’s fraud team.
“It was kind of step by step,” says Ms Ridley. “He was taking me through and almost grooming me to part with that money and not ask questions.”
Convinced her account had been compromised, Ms Ridley followed instructions and moved $35,000 of her savings into a new account provided by the scammers.
When Ms Ridley didn’t receive an arranged call back, she called the same number — but this time spoke to her actual bank.
At this point, it was clear she had been scammed.
Listen to Anatomy of a Scam on your preferred podcast app.