Inverell woman's personal details stolen in phone scam

Local Thea Batterham was shattered when scammers claiming to be from Telstra attempted to steal $9000 from her.
Local Thea Batterham was shattered when scammers claiming to be from Telstra attempted to steal $9000 from her.

Thea Batterham considers herself fairly savvy when it comes to scams, but was devastated last week when she fell victim to one herself. She is sharing her story to warn locals. 

To all potential NBN clients, be very aware that there are hackers in this area looking to catch unwary customers of Telstra.

I was caught out last week. After the installation of the modem by an NBN technician, my phones were not working at all. So I rang Telstra on 13 22 00 on my mobile to advise them of this.

The last words spoken were that they would send out a technician on August 17. I agreed to this. This was on Wednesday, August 1. 

But half an hour later as I was working in the garden, a call came in from ‘Telstra’, saying that the technician was on the line to talk to me. Of course I took that call, talked to a Daniel, who said he was from Telstra Technical Services and he said that my phones and computer had been hacked 246 times and that he would help me sort it out.

I was actually talking to the hacker, who asked me to log into my computer and got all my bank details, etc. They took $9000 out of my bank account, but thank God I got that back with the help of my bank and a good friend. 

The damage it caused me cannot be measured.

Thea Batterham

I am regarded as a very strong person mentally, but the damage it caused me cannot be measured. They also threatened me in all sorts of ways, and as I am alone and had no one to discuss this with, it made matters worse. I was also very sick with the flu at the time.

They told me not to use my phones and the computer as they were hacked and not to talk to anyone as they were watching me. 

This all happened on August 1-2. On August 3, with the help of a great friend of mine, we were able to retrieve the money.

So be careful! Do not take any calls even if they say it is Telstra calling. Hang up and you call them if you need to. Otherwise, ask them to put things in writing.

Do not open your computer for anyone or give out any credit card and driver’s licence details, or any personal information.

I would hate for anyone else in Inverell to be scammed. It is not a money thing. I felt shattered at the thought that some human beings could stoop so low as to defraud their fellow Australians, especially targeting the elderly. 

But for me, God is on my side and I am not afraid of anyone. God bless and keep safe.


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