RESIDENTS have been urged to remain cautious after a Collie woman became the victim of an online scam.
Local resident Wendy Kathleen Fettes told the Collie Mail she received a text message on Friday, September 9 from someone she believed to be from the Commonwealth Bank.
Mrs Fettes said the message asked her to update her bank details.
She said she then clicked on the link and filled in the details as the link closely resembled those of the bank.
The following day, Mrs Fettes discovered her life savings had been taken.
Mrs Fettes said she had not detected any warning signs while filling out the form.
“Not at all. It all said successful and the only way I found out was the next day when I went to get some shopping done, because I knew I had money in the bank, and it said ‘insufficient funds’ and that’s when my heart just dropped and I realised: ‘Oh no, please tell me I haven’t been scammed’,” she said.
“I went to the auto-teller and it said no money whatsoever. I’m in debt.”
The scam also hit Mrs Fettes’s eBay, Paypal and mobile phone accounts as they had been linked to her bank account.
She said her daughter Emily’s bank account had also been tampered with.
Mrs Fettes praised Collie’s Commonwealth Bank branch and Member for Collie-Preston Mick Murray’s office for assisting her throughout the process.
A Commonwealth Bank of Australia spokesperson said customers should contact the bank if they come across anything suspicious.
“Security is a top priority for the Commonwealth Bank,” they said.
“We invest in state-of-the-art fraud prevention and detection technology and monitor any unusual or suspicious activity.
“We encourage customers to remain vigilant and ensure their banking details are safe.
“Customers noticing any unusual transactions should immediately report them to us on 13 22 21.”
Mr Murray said residents should remain wary and take necessary precautions with any phone and online scams.
Mrs Fettes said she had been inundated with messages of support by Collie residents after writing about the incident on social media.
“I really want people to know that its real, not fake. The scam can turn your life upside down,” she said.
Mrs Fettes has received her life savings back.