A woman’s educated response saved her from falling victim to a COVID-19 scam. The impersonator scammer, hoping to seize an opportunity, targeted her while she was unwell with Covid-19. Chantel, from Victoria, Australia, received a text message from her Medicare provider.
“Medicare: You have been in close contact with someone who has contracted Omicron. You must order a free PCR test kit at:” the text, which included a link to a fake Medicare website.
After clicking the link, Chantel had the option to pay $1.49 to have a test kit delivered to her door.
While she pondered that she might be under a scam in progress, nevertheless, she paid. Considering she believed she had Omicron paying seemed like the citizenship thing to do. That’s when, consequently, the phone calls began.
The person on the other line was a man posing as a Westpac bank employee. The purpose of the call was to inform her she had been a scam victim. As a result, the bank had her back. Further, the bogus Westpac employee told her scammers were trying to lift $1000 from her account. Luckily, the bank intercepted the transaction.
The woman, being vigilant, expressed her doubts about the caller. In response, he suggested she Google the number to see if it belonged to the bank.
“Sure enough, it came up that it was under Westpac,” she told news.com.au
The man then told Chantel she would receive a text containing a verification code she would need. She almost bought into the scam. Thankfully, she began to feel nervous and insisted she should call the bank directly. Sure enough, the bogus bank employee hung up.
An educated response will save everyone
Alerts and the public’s apprehension to use them are nothing new. But this woman’s quick thinking saved her from a painful scammer experience. Above all, the woman’s educated response saved her. It is a sign that, as ethical hackers, our message is reaching the public.