Police allege the woman was contacted via a social media messaging app earlier this month by a person pretending be from a law enforcement agency.
The 36-year-old was arrested after the woman visited a bank in the south-west Sydney suburb of Narellan and staff contacted police yesterday.
A Sydney man is facing multiple fraud charges, accused of cheating an 81-year-old woman out of $24,000. (9News)
She was allegedly convinced to share personal information before someone claiming to be an agent from the Australian Federal Police contacted her.
“It’s disgusting. It’s really beyond comprehension that somebody would want to target someone this vulnerable,” Detective Chief Inspector Paul Albury said today.
“On the phone, I thought it was something to do with Facebook…. not knowing that the person I’m talking to is the scammer,” the grandmother told 9News.
Police have claimed the woman was instructed to withdraw $24,000 on two separate bank visits last week, before a man named “Alex” came to her Harrington Park home to collect the money.
“This person’s role was to take money from victims – from their homes,” Detective Chief Inspector Albury said.
It is alleged the man, now identified as 36-year-old Mostofa Tareque, is part of a fraud syndicate. Convincing Census scam targeting Aussies for personal information
Police also said the grandmother isn’t the only victim, with detectives discovering an envelope in Mr Tareque’s car containing more than $12,500 in cash allegedly taken from an elderly man in Moss Vale. He has been charged with two counts of obtaining property by deception, attempting to obtain property by deception and recklessly dealing with proceeds of crime.
In court, police will allege he visited the woman’s home on Thursday and Friday to collect $9000 and $15,000 respectively. “Police are warning members of the public not to provide any personal information over the phone and are urged to contact their local police station should they receive a phone call from someone they don’t know requesting money,” NSW Police said.