Woman scammed out of $3000 by person pretending to be her son | #whatsapp | #lovescams | #phonescams


Gaylene Donehue has been scammed out of $3000 by a man pretending to be her son on Whatsapp.

AIMAN AMERUL MUNER/Stuff

Gaylene Donehue has been scammed out of $3000 by a man pretending to be her son on Whatsapp.

A woman scammed out of $3000 by someone pretending to be her son on a messaging app, is urging others to double-check if they are contacted by anyone wanting money, no matter how convincing they are.

Gaylene Donehue, of Timaru, said she could never have imagined the person who contacted her via Whatsapp claiming to be her son in a desperate situation was not him, and now feels violated.

She is speaking out in the hope it saves others from the stress and sleepless nights she has experienced.

“I just fell for it hook, line and sinker,’’ Donehue said.

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“I never expected it, I feel really violated, I never expected someone to pretend to be my children.”

Donehue’s message exchange with the scammer began last Tuesday when she received a message saying “Hi mum, I changed provider, temporarily have this number”.

“I said something like, ‘is that you Joel?’ and he said ‘yes’,” Donehue said.

The messenger told her they were “stressed” and needed her help.

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They said they had no money to pay for the latest instalment of a recent laptop purchase – bought through a pay-later scheme and Donehue agreed to step in and provide the funds.

“I was expecting him to say $150, but he said $3000… I took a gulp and thought ‘oh my goodness, $3000’.”

While it was a large cost, Donehue was convinced it was her son messaging as he had recently lost his phone.

“He was saying all the right things, things you don’t expect to hear from a scammer.

“He said ‘mum’, and ‘thank you so much for helping me mum’, and he’d put love hearts.

“The penny didn’t drop.”

The scammer suggested she send the money by credit card, and Donehue obliged passing on her card numbers, full name and security number.

She then passed on a security code sent to her account, and she said this made her feel slightly uncomfortable because it said “do not share this number”.

“But I thought, ‘it’s alright, it’s Joel’.”

Donehue said she felt sick after thinking about the exchange of money and messages between her and the scammer.

AIMAN AMERUL MUNER/Stuff

Donehue said she felt sick after thinking about the exchange of money and messages between her and the scammer.

The scammer then messaged her the following day, Wednesday, as the payment had not worked.

She sent through the security code again, but also contacted her husband and asked him to sort it out as she had limited time on her lunch break.

“He [her husband] rung Joel’s old number.

“My son knew nothing about it.

“I just feel totally sick, I had a sleepless night, after being so vulnerable and being sucked in.”

Her husband called the credit card company, asking them to put a block on the card.

“It was all too late, we just missed out.”

Donehue has also filed a police report and contacted her credit card company.

The company said it would investigate the incident.

She said she would never do something like this again.

“They worked on my emotions as a mother. People need to double-check everything.’’



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