Flood victims targeted by online scammers



Flood victims in Western Australia’s Kimberley region have been targeted in a social media scam promising thousands of dollars in emergency aid.

The scam uses an image of a Serbian politician and includes a link to a fake Facebook page that promises victims $20,000, but was actually intended to steal personal information.

In the end, the scammers demand prepayment of fees in order to receive the money.

WA Commerce Secretary Sue Ellery says the messages, to look genuine, appear to be from a friend encouraging the target to contact an agent because she and others have already received payment.

See also  Girl, 7, and five others injured in drive-by shooting outside London church

“We strongly advise people in flood-affected areas to exercise extreme caution and not click on links or disclose personal information such as bank details in response to random messages received via text or social media,” she said.

“It is incredible that criminals have exploited vulnerable people at a time when many of them have lost everything.”

Ms Ellery said there had also been reports of comments on social media about relief funding from the Australian Flooding Agency, where no such body exists.

See also  Pakistan seeks US help in releasing $1.1 billion IMF loan: report

People were also targeted by fake charities set up to steal money from potential donors.

In one case, an Instagram account posing as a legitimate registered charity in Fitzroy Crossing solicited donors to purchase Amazon e-gift cards.

The scam warnings came as the state government confirmed that the flood-ravaged Fitzroy Crossing bridge, a critical part of the Great Northern Highway transport route, would be rebuilt bigger and better after the one-off flood.

See also  Fact Check: Did Ron DeSantis UKTN Ban African American Studies in Florida?

In the meantime, a barge system will be implemented to allow traffic to pass, while a low-lying flood crossing will be built over the next four months.

Record flooding earlier this month destroyed 38 homes and damaged dozens more in the region, while also destroying more than 30 businesses.

The state government announced on Monday that it will make additional subsidized flights available between Broome and Derby, which no longer has alternative public transport.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here