ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

Trevor remembers the first text messages.

“Heelo Sir/Mam,” it read.

“Yor Commenwealth bank account is over-draw, please click this link tom fix.”

The URL, Trevor explained, looked legitimate. Sadly, it was anything but.

Over the next few minutes, the 65-year-old retired schoolteacher gave a faceless stranger on the internet his banking username and password, as well as his phone number, drivers licence number, Medicare number and full address.

What happened next chilled the blood of his children.

“I’d just sold my house in Betoota Grove for $1.6m and it settled on Friday,” he told our reporter.

“I just had the money sitting there in my everyday saver account. Then I checked to see if it had arrived and it had, but it had been immediately transferred out in a series of smaller transactions,”

“I thought that was odd, so I called the bank. They informed me that I’d been scammed and the money is gone. I felt like such an idiot. My children want me to have an ACAT this week. They’re not happy.”

Trevor said it shouldn’t be this easy for people to steal money.

“I want the taxpayer and the banks to repay me the money. It’s not fair. It’s absurd that this can still happen in this day and age. It’s unacceptable and it’s a failure of policy and business.”

Despite not being a Commonwealth Bank customer, Trevor is adamant anybody could’ve fallen for it.

“The people at the Diamantina Credit Union (DCU) should’ve stopped me.”

Lance Carter from the DCU said he felt sorry for Trevor but customers need to be wary themselves.

“He’s gone and give them the keys to his kingdom, he’s let them in the front door,” Lance said.

“There’s not actually much we can do if they pass all the security checks. What more can we do? If we hold up every transaction, it’ll bring business to a standstill here.”

Trevor’s son, Gregothy, said his life has been ruined.

“I was waiting for that inheritance, now I’m fucked,” he said.

“He’s plunged every generation after him into housing insecurity. He’s a fucking idiot. I hope the ACAT gives us the power to take control of him.”

More to come.


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