A distraught university student has burst into tears after being ripped off all the money in her bank account.
Nineteen-year-old Sarah Towers took to TikTok on Thursday to share her despair after more than $3,000 was stolen from her last month.
She said money is vital to her as a young person on a minimum wage.
“Recently, I was scammed out of all my money in my bank account, which is over $3,000,” said Ms. Towers.
“This money that was taken was my bill money. All my savings for the end of the year and all the money on my credit card was $2,000.”
Ms. Towers explained that the thief had access to her bank account and phone, which they used to commit the elaborate scam.
“Somehow, the person who charged my account also had access to my phone and managed to disable my NetBank notifications, allowing them to get my NetBank code without me knowing,” she said.
“They recognized their phone on my bank account so they could make authorized transactions.”
Camera Icon 19-year-old Sarah Snook lost more than $3,000 after her bank account was scammed. Instagram/trysarahtops Credit: Included
Ms. Towers doesn’t know how the scammer got her information, but she was ” suspicious ” because Optus had given her phone number to someone else.
Finally, she got a message about suspicious transactions in her bank account from London.
But as she waited to reach Commonwealth Bank, it was already too late.
“From there, they say to call this number if it’s an unauthorized transaction, which I did,” Ms. Towers said.
“I then sat on hold at my bank for an hour and a half, waiting for them to answer so that I could close my account, but the man had taken all my money.”
Camera icon Some fraudulent payments into Sarah Tower’s bank account. Credit: Included
“I’ve been trying desperately to access my account, but you can only be logged in on one phone at a time, so it was a constant struggle to log in and change my password,” she said.
“Luckily, I could change my PIN so he couldn’t get in. And then I got locked out for trying to type it in so many times.
“It was only then that my bank closed my account to prevent anything further from happening.”
Ms. Towers had only $200 left after the attack but waited more than three weeks in hopes of having her money returned after filing a dispute with CommBank.
However, she was shocked when the bank told her the dispute was unsuccessful.
Camera IconSarah Towers shows the outcome of the transaction dispute she received from Commonwealth Bank. Delivered Credit: Delivered
“As you can expect, this is the worst possible outcome for me,” she said.
“If I don’t pay back my credit card, I think in four or five days, which is $2,000, I’ll keep getting fees and accruing because I can’t pay it back.”
A portion of the transaction dispute outcome read: “Based on our findings, we believe that the transactions were carried out by yourself or another person with your consent and knowledge.”
“It says that because I knew what was happening and I let it happen, they won’t give me my money back,” Ms. Snook said.
She can ask Commonwealth Bank one last time for help after filing a complaint and filing a report with the police.
But there could be a happy fix for Ms. Snook’s story after she posted another update in the comments.
“Son, my case manager at the bank just called me and said he’s going to escalate it (my complaint),” she said.
“Did they see my TikTok?”