Alert bank teller saves Woolgoolga customer from phone scam

AN 81-YEAR-OLD Woolgoolga man has been saved by a National Australia Bank teller at his local branch from sending $550 to a ruthless scammer.

John Scott was contacted by telephone on Friday by scammers with foreign accents who claimed to be representatives from Windows.

They said their names were John and Justin.

John the scammer provided the phone number (02) 8006 9015 and told Mr Scott his computer had a virus.

Justin then gave Mr Scott a set of complex instructions in order to access his computer, following which he advised him to send $550 to E-Commerce with the following bank details - BSB 015-343, Account 190315408.

Mr Scott received a number of calls chasing payment, so he went down to his local NAB branch where a scam-savvy teller advised him the account number belonged to another bank.

The teller urged Mr Scott not to send the money because she believed he was being scammed.

Fair Trading commissioner Rod Stowe said the incident highlighted the important role banks and other agencies that do financial transactions have in protecting the public against scams.

"Were it not for this teller taking an interest in her elderly customer, Mr Scott could have been $550 out of pocket, a substantial amount of money that would inevitably have been compounded by a sense of embarrassment and disappointment common to scam victims," he said.

Go to www.scamwatch or www.fairtrading for tips on how to avoid scams.