When Karen Grant rang what she thought was a Qantas travel agent to book a flight from Sydney to Darwin this year she was surprised to find a price of only $128 was being offered.
The NSW Central Tablelands woman was further surprised when the ticket seller on the phone told her the Orange Credit Union was blocking her payment.
But her surprise turned to shock when OCU staff told her the payment had been blocked because $500 had been sought twice to be sent to a bank account in India.
She then realised she had just avoided being scammed.
"I was really cross with myself, I just felt like I had been used," she said. "Ever since then I have become very, very wary.
"I was extremely lucky."
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Ms Grant said she found the number online after searching for a Qantas travel agent. "He said, 'good morning, Qantas, how can I help you'. He was saying all the right things. It sounded very authentic."
However, she said she did become suspicious when he told her his name was 'Jack' after a pause and there was no music or advertising when she was put on hold during the phone call.
Ms Grant said she wanted to warn other people in Orange to be wary.
OCU CEO Andrew de Graaff said people in Orange were being caught by various online scams.
He said the OCU had been able to block the payment because of security measures in place about sending money to an overseas bank.
However, he said often people only realised they had been scammed after they had paid the money. That also often means the money cannot be recovered.
"Our biggest experience shows, nine times out of 10, [scams occur] when people are being tricked or deceived into making payments through social engineering," he said.
"We do have [security] systems in place."
However he said scammers were tricking people into going around those security systems to give out passwords and codes which were used to rob them.
He said the OCU would run information sessions for the whole Orange community, not just customers, this year to help people avoid being scammed.
They are likely to be held at the Orange Ex-Services' Club in May-June but the details are still being worked out.