Victoria police are warning the public to be mindful of a potential scam, following two reports within 24 hours in which a person claimed to be a lawyer representing friends of the victims.
According to police, the victims were called by a person who claimed to be representing a friend who’d been involved in a serious collision that left a young girl dead. The caller then asked the victims to deposit money into the accounts of the “lawyer” to help cover the friend’s bail.
“Both victims contacted officers after discovering that their attempts to assist friends were, in fact, frauds,” police said in a news release.
In one case, the victim realized they’d been scammed after speaking with the friend mentioned by the caller. The other victim became aware of the fraud after contacting a family member, who urged them to contact police.
Police said the combined losses, which are unlikely to be recovered, are more than $20,000.
Anyone who receives a call in a similar scenario is advised to insist on speaking with the mentioned friend or family member, to search for local news coverage of the mentioned collision, to speak to a family member or friend about transferring funds, to speak to a banking representative and to speak to a police officer or call the police’s non-emergency line.