Victoria Police are investigating after an international student had her life savings fraudulently stolen by hoax callers last month.
On 16 August, the 27-year-old woman was contacted by a man claiming to be from Australian Federal Police (AFP), alleging she “had a number of credit card debts” that could affect her visa status and overseas travel if left unpaid.
The call was transferred a number of times, till a female voice told the victim to withdraw $20,000 from her bank and deliver it to an AFP officer in person. She was told to meet the officer at the Princes Gardens on Chapel Street in Prahran.
The man impersonating an AFP officer is believed to have been of Indian appearance, with dark hair, a beard, and a thin build. He has been described as approximately 178 cm (5″8 feet) tall.
At the park, the victim was told she owed another $20,000. According to the police statement, the victim explained that she only had $18,300 left in her bank account, and the “officer” told her to pay $18,000 and keep the $300.
The victim withdrew the amount from the bank and handed over the money to the man. She reached out to authorities after questioning the legitimacy of the cash transaction.
“The victim in this case is a well-travelled and intelligent woman but they were still able to convince her to hand over her life savings. We certainly hope to make some arrests in this investigation but if we can’t, it is important to get this information out so no one else is taken in by this scam,” said Detective Senior Constable Damian Faggian, Stonnington Crime Investigation Unit, Victoria Police.
Individuals are reminded that AFP employees will never ask for money transfers, Bitcoins or online vouchers such as iTunes and GooglePlay.
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