I’m a mom who spent a decade saving for a house deposit – but after just a few text messages, I lost it all

A MUM spent a decade saving on a house deposit, only to lose it all after a few messages.

Shannon Saunders, from Townsville in Queensland, Australia, is urging others to be careful after being tricked by scammers.

Shannon Saunders lost nearly $50,000 to a scammer who claimed to be helping her save money

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Shannon Saunders lost nearly $50,000 to a scammer who claimed to be helping her save moneyCredit: 7News
She was initially concerned but received a text message from a Suncorp number

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She was initially concerned but received a text message from a Suncorp number

The mother of four was contacted by a person pretending to be a Suncorp bank employee who told her they were from the fraud division.

The childcare worker was initially concerned, but when she was told suspicious activity had taken place on her account, Shannon became very worried about her money.

After nine years of saving, she had $48,688.70 in her account — but in just a few seconds, she lost it all, reports 7News.

She logged into her bank account and then started changing her details.

Then a text message came on her phone from a number she had previously received information about from the bank.

The message told her not to continue until she had a secure code from the operator that matched the text.

Little did she know when he gave it to her that scammers used a special system to make it appear they were communicating from Suncorp’s official numbers.

She said, “I was like, ‘Okay, this has to be real’.”

But she was still a little worried — she told the man on the end of the phone that she was concerned about the legitimacy of the call.

Shannon said, “He assured me he was there to keep my money safe.”

“It was a 38 minute conversation I had with this gentleman, it wasn’t a quick conversation.

“The whole time I was telling him how sick I feel because my money is not safe.

Shannon was told that a new account was being set up for her to transfer her money into, and she transferred the money.

She said: “My account was left at zero. Then the phone was dead.

“I was immediately in shock, my hands were shaking and I was physically nauseous.”

When she called Suncorp and spoke to a legitimate company representative, she was told the money was already gone.

“It was a house deposit and savings on a house that was due to be settled the following week,” she said.

With her family’s support, Shannon was able to pursue the purchase of the house, but is shocked at how easy it was for her to lose her money.

She said: “I had no doubt that I was guided by a professional from Suncorp who told me this is what I needed to do to keep my money safe.

“I don’t want anyone else to feel how I feel, how my family feels.”

Shannon hopes at least one person will think twice before making a money transfer over the phone.

She said, “If that’s all I get out of this, then that’s better than someone else falling victim to it.”

What rights do I have if I’m being scammed?

If you think you have been the victim of a scam, you should report it as soon as possible.

There is no guarantee that you will get your money back, but banks will often compensate you if you can show that you were unaware that money was being taken from your account.

You can forward fraudulent emails to report@phishing.gov.uk and you should also contact your bank and report this to Action Fraud who will give you a crime reference number.

Check if your bank has signed up for the voluntary APP code indicating that they are committed to compensating customers who have been tricked into sending money to scammers.

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If your bank is on file and refuses to give you a refund, you can complain and ask them why they aren’t following the code.

You may be able to report the case to the Financial Ombudsman, who could order your bank to compensate you.

Shannon was told a new account was set up for her before transferring the money

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Shannon was told a new account was set up for her before transferring the moneyCredit: 7News

https://www.the-sun.com/news/6959521/mum-spent-decade-saving-house-deposit/ I’m a mom who spent a decade saving for a house deposit – but after just a few text messages, I lost it all

DevanCole

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