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Aussie Loses $120K In 24 Hours, Gets Blamed By His Bank

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Sausalito, Calif. – May 28, 2024

Earlier this year Daily Mail reported that an Australian charity worker had revealed how fraudsters took $120,000 from his bank account while he was camping with no phone reception.

Armen Arakelian, a volunteer firefighter who works with nature conservation charity Back to the Bush, was on a Christmas trip near the Snowy Mountains in NSW when the hackers struck.

They “ported” his phone number to one of their own devices — a process in which fraudsters pretend to be a phone owner and transfer the number to a new telco. This then allowed them to get codes for the two-factor authentication on his account and the entire $120,000 was transferred out in 50 transactions over a couple of days while Arakelian remained oblivious.

Shockingly, the bank blamed Arakelian for his loss.

Cybercrime Magazine’s editor-at-large David Braue, based in Melbourne, Australia, recently caught up with Arakelian on our podcast to get the complete story.

Listen to the Interview

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