A Sydney couple warned of the threat of hackers after a man’s wife’s identity was stolen and money taken out of their account.
Criminals were able to hack into the phone of Brad Ford’s wife Eyrn with ease and steal her identity in an hour.
Mr Ford said that it was terrifying the speed in which the shocking incident happened to Eyrn, who is a founder of Mummy Physiques, which is a private female only boutique studio catering to the Hills District of Sydney.
In the end the couple had to change anything which could identify themselves, which included applying for new passports, drivers licences, and closing their bank accounts.
The first time Mr Ford knew something was amiss was when he spotted that his wife’s mobile connection wasn’t working.
Later when he was sent an alert saying her Facebook password had changed a few minutes later to his phone, he immediately phoned the bank and police.
‘It’s very scary to see how it easy they were able to steal my wife’s ID details but our service provider Optus won’t tell us how it was done,’ said Mr Ford.
‘My wife noticed that her phone had no service. Someone had phoned our telephone provider Optus and pretended to be her, requesting to activate a new prepaid SIM card.
‘Within minutes the thieves were now in control of my wife’s number. Within four minutes they had requested a recovery SMS from our email address. This was just the start.’
After sifting through thousands of emails the hackers found their bank statements, and within 30 minutes had logged into her Facebook, using the SMS recovery option.
Following this they were able to get Eryn’s date of birth and then into the couple’s bank account.
In just an hour of getting her phone number, they had got into their internet banking.
Commonwealth Bank was able to freeze their NetBank account but the thieves were still able take out some money on the Central Coast from an ATM there before their cards were closed down.
Commonwealth Bank and Optus both said security of their customers’ personal information was a top priority, and if fraudulent activity was reported they would work with the appropriate authorities to resolve the issue.