Elizabeth’s Battle with Fraud on Chat Savvy – Member Journeys
Are you ready to hear some big numbers around scams from Scamwatch?
In this episode of Chat Savvy, we share Elizabeth’s story of how she had her credit card details stolen while trying to buy her granddaughter a train set.
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Host: Stacey Chew & Doa Demir
Producer: Josh Butt
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INTRO: From the Credit Savvy team, hello and welcome to Chat Savvy. We’re here to help you take control of your credit life and empower you in your financial journeys one episode at a time.
STACEY: I’m Stacey Chew and with me today I have the lovely Doa Demir from team Credit Savvy. Now, Doa, you’ve been on the show before. Can you just tell us a little bit about what you do?
DOA: Sure. I am the product marketing manager of Credit Savvy. I sit in between the product and marketing teams to support the enhancement of user experience for both our web and App, and, you know, also running some cool campaigns on the side.
STACEY: Very nice. Well, welcome. So what do you have in store for us today, Doa?
DOA; Well, today’s story is around the data breaches that happened not too long ago. And I thankfully wasn’t impacted, but my partner was, and he was online every single day, checking the news.
STACEY: Right, it’s lucky that you weren’t. Unfortunately, I was and so many other Australians were affected too and this is why your story will be a very relatable one for most. To protect the identity of this member, shall we call her, Elizabeth?
DOA: Yes, we should. This is what Elizabeth sent in.
“My children always tell me online shopping is easier than battling the crowds at the department store. Although it doesn’t come second nature to me, I persevered and ordered my granddaughter’s birthday present from a reputable retailer online. I was pretty chuffed with myself and it was surprisingly easy. But a week later, it turned into a nightmare.”
STACEY: Oh no, I can see where this is going…
DOA: Yeah, it doesn’t sound good at all.
“A few days after I ordered a train set for my granddaughter, I received an email from Australia Post stating they needed to confirm my credit card details before they sent my delivery. I thought it might be part of their verification process, so I clicked a link in the email, typed my credit card details into the portal and the package was delivered four days later.
I only realised I was in trouble when I received my credit card statement in the mail the following month.
I have internet banking, but I don’t really use it, and much prefer receiving post. It said I had reached my limit that month and listed dozens of transactions, many of which I don’t recall making. There were also unusual international fees charged for purchases made overseas, which definitely wasn’t me.
After going through my transactions with the customer service representative, we realised the flurry of spending that I didn’t make started the same week I bought that train set.
I blocked my account and cancelled my other cards too in case they were also at risk of being used illegitimately. The bank issued me new cards, but I had to wait over a week to receive them, so it was incredibly stressful to be without money. I felt so embarrassed.”
STACEY: Oh Elizabeth. You are not alone. These days scammers are able to make emails look incredibly legitimate. Long gone are the days where the emails come from, you know, an African prince, promising wealth.
This is a typical phishing scam. Actually, last year, that there were approximately 74,000 phishing scams reported according to Scamwatch.
DOA: That’s a big number.
STACEY: That is a big number. It’s almost equivalent to 4 million dollars lost.
DOA: They’re pretty scary. Especially like how they’re just adapted and improved their technology every year to keep up with the rising protection strategies.
There are certainly specific warning signs that one can watch for. Going back to Elizabeth’s story, turns out that Elizabeth’s daughter was already a member of Credit Savvy. She was the one who told her mum about SavvyShield.
STACEY: Yeah, good on her.
DOA: Usually phishing scams involve dodgy links, they don’t use the receiver’s name, they come from strange email addresses with random numbers and characters, they have spelling mistakes. And honestly, most companies would not ask for their customers to put in their bank details through unsecure links.
STACEY: You know getting strange requests like requesting to be added to your contacts allowing for more regular emails to be sent that surpasses the junk or spam, or a quick search and comparison of company logos would really help. And you know, getting a family member or a friend’s opinion before divulging any further personal information really helps.
DOA: I agree! And this was also how the Credit Savvy ‘SavvyShield’ feature came about right? Something similar had happened to a friend of the Head of Product and there was an opportunity seen for a service to monitor changes to your credit score and prevent anyone else from taking out credit in your name.
STACEY: Well, yeah, obviously, I know how it works, but can you share with our listeners what SavvyShield is?
DOA: Absolutely. SavvyShield makes it easy to temporarily ban access to your Credit Report if you’re worried your identity being compromised. So, banning access to your Credit Report stops all credit checks – helping protect your Credit Score from damage by anyone trying to impersonate you for their own financial gain.
STACEY: No, I did the exact same when I heard about all the data breaches happening, because I was a victim. Got the app, submitted my request and a ban was placed for 21 days across the three major credit bureaus in Australia. So I didn’t have to worry about, you know, anyone using my identity to open new credit facilities. There also was an option to extend the ban for 12 months. So, it really put my mind at ease.
DOA: That’s exactly what my partner did. But for me I chose not to place the ban but instead monitor my credit score, because I wasn’t impacted and if it was dropping all of a sudden or if I can spot any unusual activity, then that’s when I would look further into it.
STACEY: Whether you use SavvyShield or constantly check your credit score, it’s both good ways to have your finger on the pulse. Also, I do hope that Elizabeth is in a better situation now.
DOA: A big takeaway for me was around how common scams are. It’s not an unusual thing and if we’re not aware, then it’s so easy to fall into a trap. Ignorance is not bliss and the more you equip yourself with protection tools, the more secure you’ll be. It will definitely give you peace in mind.
Thank you, Elizabeth for sharing your story with us.
STACEY: Thanks, Doa. That takes us to the end of this episode. If you have a story to share, we would love to hear from you. For more information, take a look at our show notes.
We hope you took away a thing or two from Elizabeth’s experience.
DOA: Thank you for listening.