AFL footballer and NAB customer Jacob Weitering is among thousands of Australians who have lost money to scammers.
The fullback met NAB CEO Ross McEwan through Club President Luke Sayers and shared his experience. They agreed to team-up in an effort to help increase education and awareness about scams in a bid to help others.
Mr Weitering recently shared his story with NAB colleagues and the community more broadly in the Saturday Herald Sun.
Mr McEwan said the key defender was a courageous player on the field and was showing just as much courage sharing his story publicly.
“This is not a NAB problem. This is not a bank problem or even an Australia problem. This is a global crime wave,” Mr McEwan said.
“We need to be honest – we will never stop scammers. But what we can do, is make it as hard as possible for these criminals to be scamming Australians of their money.” – NAB CEO Ross McEwan
“Jacob’s story highlights that scams can happen to anyone. Scammers are sophisticated criminals who are determined to steal your money and will not stop trying. We are doing a lot to try and stop these criminals but education remains vital.”
In an interview with the Saturday Herald Sun to help raise awareness and education on scams Mr Weitering said he received a text message last September notifying him of suspicious transactions on his account, which appeared to be from NAB.
Then he received a couple of calls from a number that appeared as if it was the fraud line from NAB on his phone.
“They went through the suspicious transaction, and played on my emotions a little bit. It was perfect. The text, the caller ID, the blocking of the suspicious transaction.”
Mr Weitering was told his accounts had been frozen but the money needed to be moved into what they called a “safeguarding account.”
Over the next week he sent money directly to the scammers – until all his accounts had been emptied.
“I sent them the money directly. That was the biggest mistake that I made, and that was built off the perfect role-playing at their end.”
“We cleared all the accounts until they were empty, into what I thought was a safe account,” Mr Weitering said.
In recent months, NAB has taken action to help prevent scammers from impersonating the bank’s numbers, working closely with telecommunications providers.
Mr Weitering said that once he had realised he had fallen for an impersonation (or ‘spoofing’) scam, he was devastated.
“It was a very significant amount of money that I’ve struggled to deal with over the last six months. It was the money that I’d worked hard for, and saved, was all taken away. All gone.”
Mr McEwan said greater effort was needed to deter the criminals behind scams and frauds
“Everyone has a role to play to see through scams.”
“We need a Team Australia approach with banks, telecommunications companies, social media companies, government, regulators and the community working together.
“It’s very pleasing to see the Government’s focus on this through initiatives like the establishment of the National Anti-Scam Centre and a new SMS registry. Singapore has a similar SMS registry and it’s proved an important step, so I look forward to seeing it implemented here in Australia.
“At NAB we have more than 60 initiatives either complete or underway across the bank to reduce the impact of scams and fraud.
“These are important initiatives. But we can, and will, do more. Every one of us must learn how to protect ourselves.
“Contact your bank immediately if you’ve been scammed.”
NAB runs free monthly customer security webinars and posts the latest scam alerts on its Security Hub website, while customer education material is shared across platforms including in-app messaging, TikTok, Instagram and email.