How a savvy businesswoman lost $42,000 in text message scam

How a single text from scammers caused me to lose $42,000 within minutes after making one SIMPLE mistake

  • Savannah clicked on link in SMS she believed was from her bank
  • Entire amount in account claimed by scammers
  • BNZ has issued warning about new scam

A devastated businesswoman has recalled how $42,000 was wiped from her bank account within moments of clicking on a link in a text message sent by scammers.

Canadian expat Savannah Jackson from Queenstown, New Zealand insists she’s usually ‘hyper aware’ and cautious about texts from potential scammers.

But on June 22, she was busy at work when she received a text alert from her bank BNZ which read ‘just to confirm a new device has been added to your account’.

Despite being the only one with access to the account, Ms Jackson clicked on the link and immediately realised she’d just made a costly mistake.

She called the bank and while on hold, took a call from the BNZ fraud department which had noticed the suspicious activity.

The bank flagged the transaction as potential fraud after speaking to Ms Jackson but sadly by then, it was too late.

Savannah Jackson made a costly error when she clicked on a link in a text message

In a matter of minutes, BNZ had allowed the entire amount in Ms Jackson’s business account to be transferred to third party company Wise, formerly known as Transfer Wise.

‘It was $42,000. All the money for my GST, my staff wages to pay, my creditors, everything was gone within literally a couple of minutes,’ Ms Jackson told Stuff. 

The property manager is mortified about falling for the scam and hopes others will learn from her mistake by sharing her story.

‘Normally I’m hyper aware of these things but I was busy at work and clicked on the link, it went to an official looking BNZ bank page,’ Ms Jackson said.

‘Straight away I knew I’d done something wrong. 

‘Can’t believe I fell for it. I got sucked in and I am kicking myself.’ 

Twelve days later, Ms Jackson is desperately fighting to get her money back and has contacted BNZ for daily updates on the status of the investigation.

The businesswoman is fighting to be reimbursed for the fraudulently transferred funds 

BNZ has issued a warning to all customers about the text message scam Ms Jackson fell for

She feels let down by the bank and feels her business is under financial threat.

‘I can’t understand how a major bank like BNZ and their fraud department can’t get through to a major international funds transfer company,’ she told the publication.

BNZ confirmed to Stuff the bank is looking into Ms Jackson’s case, which can take up to three months to investigate.

Wise has also launched its own investigation into the matter.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Ms Jackson, BNZ and Wise for further comment. 

The Queenstown businesswoman insists she’s usually ‘hyper aware’ about potential scams

The case has prompted BNZ to warn all customers about the latest text scam.

‘Some of our customers have been receiving text messages advising that a new device has been paired to their online banking and asking them to click a link, which leads to a fake website,’ the bank website states.

‘If you receive a text message similar to this, don’t click on the link.’

BNZ has reminded customers that it will never send you an email or text message with a link requesting you to click to log in or contact customers via text regarding accounts.

‘Always log in to Internet Banking through BNZ’s website or the BNZ app, not from links in text messages or emails,’ the bank added.

BNZ has issued an urgent warning to customers about the latest scam (stock image of customers at BNZ ATM)

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