Overseas scammers raid young mum's bank account

MATT BOWEN
Last updated 09:56 21/02/2014

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Mother Laura Drummond felt violated after fraudsters cleaned out her bank account, leaving her fretting and penniless.

An investigation is likely to involve several banks and reveal a number of victims.

Ms Drummond, 27, was about to put her 4-month-old baby to bed when she noticed odd withdrawals from her account late on Wednesday night.

"I went online to check my bank balance and saw I'd had four transactions in my account and little money left over.

"I had not touched my card all day, or made online transactions and my card was still in my wallet."

She was "puzzled" and checked her account again to see "bizarre transactions" amounting to just over $340.

There were two further transactions with conversion fees. She called Kiwibank who shut down her account.

Kiwibank spokesman Bruce Thompson confirmed that the transactions were fraudulent and said the case was now being investigated. It's most likely that she has been caught up in a scam that involves other people and other banks, he said.

"We can see that she has been transacting in Hamilton and then all of a sudden there's a transaction from Canada, which has withdrawn money from her account," he said.

"What that means is her account has been corrupted and that means that somebody has managed to get access to her account."

There are a number of ways that can happen, Mr Thompson said. A skimming device on an ATM is a well-known method to collect account information and pin numbers.

However, shop owners can have their account illegally accessed which gives fraudsters access to their customers' account details, Mr Thompson said.

"Or it can be something that happens with somebody attaching a device, which has happened in the past at a carparking building. Therefore everybody who has used that carpark was at risk of their bank details being accessed and sent to somebody overseas who has then managed to create a card and make a withdrawal using the card number and pin that was obtained in New Zealand."

Mr Thompson would not say whether other banks had been hit or how many other cases there had been other than to say the fraud would "not be isolated to [Ms Drummond] alone".

Kiwibank reimbursed Ms Drummond for the full amount taken after providing her with a short- term loan. 

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- Waikato Times

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