BALLARAT victims are among the more than 1.6 million Australians who fell victim to fraud between 2014-15, with the most common type of fraud card deception.
The latest ABS data reveals 8.5 per cent of the population aged 15 and over was targeted, an increase from 6.7 per cent of the population targeted between 2010-11.
A Ballarat man, who wished to remain anonymous, said he felt “violated” when his account was drained by fraudsters last month.
The man, who banks with Westpac, discovered his account had been compromised when his went to use his card and it was declined.
Shortly afterwards he received a message from Westpac stating his account had been cancelled because of suspected unauthorised use.Transactions on his statement revealed purchases were made in Macleod, Victoria.
Ballarat man Frank Castle says his partner did not have money stolen but was contacted by Westpac to inform her that there may have been a security breach.
“The Westpac bank contacted my partner via text to let her know about a security breach,” Mr Castle said.
“She went into the branch and the bank assisted her by blocking the card and getting a new card organised for her.
“They also showed her how to use cardless banking. They were helpful and nice and they stated quite a few other people were also effected.”
Mr Castle said he would prefer to go into the bank to personally withdraw money to prevent this from happening. A Westpac spokeswoman said a small number of customers had fallen victim to card fraud at a Howitt Street, Wendouree ATM. It is understand 155 have been cancelled as a Representative measure.
“We are taking this matter very seriously by conducting a full investigation,”she said.
In response to the compromised accounts, Westpac will this week install anti-skimming devices at the ATM. Call police on 5336 6000.
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