Woman loses life savings after falling for HSBC text scam


A woman has told how she lost her life savings after she fell for a sophisticated text scam.

When Suni Wan received a message from her bank HSBC saying that there was some fraudulent activity on her account she called them straight back.

The text did not seem unusual as it appeared in the same thread that her bank usually messaged her in.

The message told her that a new device had logged onto her account and if it wasn’t her to call back immediately.

The man on the other end of the phone said that an S8 had logged onto her account, which worried Suni as she had previously owned an S8, which is a Samsung phone.

Concerned that someone had got hold of her old phone and was using it to try and get into her bank account, Suni rattled off all the information the “bank” asked her, including her name, address and date of birth.

They also asked her to generate a one time pass code and read it out so they could fix the issue.

“Then he said there’s been some unusual activities and he put me on hold for quite a while,” Suni told A Current Affair.

Suni only grew suspicious when the man on the line started asking questions about her cryptocurrency account Coinspot.

“It finally clicked to me, why would HSBC be concerned about my Coinspot, they wouldn’t pass my details to a representative they would tell me to call Coinspot directly,” she said.

Suni rang HSBC immediately and asked them to freeze her account but the scammers had already taken $49,000.

They had managed to spoof HSBC’s real number so their message came through on the same thread as a year’s worth of legitimate messages from the bank.

“The hardest thing for me is to stop blaming myself, like I keep blaming myself, maybe I should have noticed it earlier,” Suni said.

A spokesperson from HSBC told A Current Affair: “For customer confidentiality reasons we can’t discuss specific customer situations.

“HSBC takes customer security very seriously and we thoroughly investigate any reported cases of scam or fraud.

“The industry has seen an increase in fraudsters using ‘text spoofing’ to deliberately falsify the telephone number to appear as a genuine bank text message.

“Scam text messages can even appear in the same message chain as real messages from the organisation, making them even harder to spot.

“HSBC will never ask you to provide your PINs, passwords or verification codes on a phone call, in response to a text message or email. Bank customers need to be vigilant about the risk of scams and are reminded to never give out bank codes or passwords.”

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