Australian woman loses $154,000 to elaborate phishing scheme


A few years ago, a mother of three told DailyMail Australia how she was doing scammed out of $154,000 as a warning so that others don’t have to experience the horror she experienced. Tricia Harding was devastated when she fell victim to a complex phishing scheme and wants banks to do more to ensure others are not duped in the same way.

The scam has started when Harding, who lives in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, emailed her children in April 2022 to say she wanted to give them money. She and her husband sold their house and wanted to share part of the profits with their children. So they contacted them to ask for their bank details.

Replies to emails appearing to come from her son and daughter weren’t really from them – even though the address was almost identical to her children’s. The only difference was an extra letter added to the addresses.

The cybercriminal sent separate bank details, apparently those of the children, to Harding, and she wired $154,000 to the scammer.

Harding recently appeared on the Cybercrime Magazine podcast to tell her poignant story to David Braue, our Melbourne-based editor.

Listen to the interview

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