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How a Thornlie couple was scammed out of $133k

Article image for How a Thornlie couple was scammed out of $133k

A Thornlie couple’s dream of buying their first home has been shattered after scammers stole their life savings.

Commissioner for WA Consumer Protection, Lanie Chopping, told 6PR’s Steve Mills the scammers cloned the settlement agent’s email address.

The couple received an email from who they thought was the settlement agent, after their offer was accepted on a Piara Waters home.

They transferred almost $133,000 in three separate transactions “thinking that they were sending money to the settlement agent”.

She said it was only once they received a request for the outstanding balance that they realised someone had impersonated the settlement agent and stolen all of their money.

“There was one letter added to the settlement email address and the AU domain name was missing,” she said.

“People need to be absolutely vigilant about the way they engage in these types of transactions.”

Ms Tapping said these sophisticated scams often occur when someone’s software has been hacked.

“The scammers have essentially been watching and waiting for an opportunity to pounce.”

“Do not rely on any communication that you receive by email.

“Independently verify the contact information … and call them to verify it is accurate.”

Click play to hear the full interview. 

(Photo: iStock by Getty Images.)

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