A NSW Central West man has been robbed of about $9000 in an intricate three-day, 14-hour phone scam.
The scammer tricked his victim, Dave Farrell of Cudal, into driving to Orange to buy $1700 worth of Google Play cards and conned him into believing he was part of a Telstra investigative team tracking down hackers.
Mr Farrell said the scammer, "an investigator named Steve", told him he was putting amounts of money into one of Mr Farrell's accounts as part of the operation.
[He] requested that I go to Orange and purchase $1000 worth of Google Play gift cardsDave Farrell, scam victim
However Mr Farrell later discovered they were just being transferred from another of his own accounts.
"They cleaned me out," he said on Monday. "I don't want other people to get cleaned out."
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He has warned people to beware of the fraud, known as a remote access scam, which the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's Scamwatch website states has robbed Australians of millions of dollars in the past few years.
Mr Farrell said it started last Thursday when he received a call from a Melbourne phone number with the caller saying he was part of a Telstra investigative team tracking would-be hackers trying to access Mr Farrell's internet.
"When I expressed concern for his bona fides I was passed to another person, his 'supervisor' who for the next three days spent hours on the phone instructing me," he said.
Mr Farrell said he was tricked into opening his computer and giving out banking details.
He said he was also treasurer of the Lions Club of Cudal Cargo and District and the scammer tried, but failed, to also steal from its accounts.
Mr Farrell said on Thursday $1000 was 'deposited' in his account. "[He] requested that I go to Orange and purchase $1000 worth of Google Play gift cards."
He said the scammer was constantly ringing him.
"[He] asked me to reveal and read to him the numbers on the cards," Mr Farrell said.
He said he was asked to return to Orange on Friday to transfer $6500 to 'another party' and withdraw $800 from his account.
Mr Farrell said he was told not to access his internet bank page as 'the team' only wanted its entries to be seen by hackers.
On Saturday Mr Farrell was asked to go back to Orange to buy $700 more gift cards.
"While I couldn't understand the reasons for much of what I was asked to do I felt that it was unlikely that anyone just wanting to access my bank accounts would spend three days and [about 14] hours on the phone and go through all the procedures outlined so I felt it was probably a genuine investigation," he said.
Mr Farrell said he had not heard from the scammer since Saturday.
He said he had contacted police and the Commonwealth Bank.
Mr Farrell said the bank said they would investigate the case and try to block the transfers of funds, but the process could take six weeks.
Remote access scams were highlighted by Scamwatch in 2018 after it received more than 8000 reports in one year.
"These types of scam can be very scary, as scammers can become threatening and aggressive if they sense they are losing the victim or they are starting to cotton on," it said.
That included warning them they were jeopardising the investigation and even threatening them with legal consequences if they refused to help.
"If you receive a phone call out of the blue about your computer and remote access is requested, it's a scam 100 per cent of the time. Hang up," it said.
It said mainly older Australians were being scammed this way.