In this article, you will get all the information regarding Kimberley flood victims targeted by online scammers, with Serbian official’s picture used to promote the fraud
Flood victims in Western Australia’s Kimberley region are being targeted by scammers as authorities attempt to fill empty supermarket shelves.
The scam uses an image of a Serbian politician and contains a link to a phoney Facebook page promising victims $20,000 but which actually is aimed at stealing personal information.
Eventually, the scammers tell their prospective targets that fees must be paid up front to receive the funds.
Watch the latest news and stream for free on 7plus >>
WA Commerce Minister Sue Ellery says the messages appear to come from a friend who is encouraging the target to contact an agent because they and others have already received the payment.
“We strongly advise people in flood-affected areas to be extremely careful and not click on links or give out personal information such as bank details in response to random messages received via text or social media,” she said.
“It is unbelievable that criminals have sought to exploit vulnerable people at a time when many of them have lost everything.”
Ms Ellery said there had also been reports of social media commentary about relief funding from the “Australian Flooding Agency”, when no such agency exists.
People were also being targeted by fake charities set up to steal money from would-be donors.
In one instance, an Instagram account posing as a legitimate registered charity in Fitzroy Crossing was asking donors to buy Amazon e-gift cards.
The scams come with residents in the town of Derby being left frustrated by supply shortages after the flood damage isolated the town.
Shire president Geoff Haerawa said the town had received dozens of pallets of food and essentials, and was working to get products on shelves.
“The shelves have been empty in our main supermarket here,” he told the ABC.
“I have spoken to the manager, I have spoken up the line, and they’re doing their darnedest to get product on the shelf.
“There’s always a bottleneck somewhere and that’s the fact that the road is out, and we’re having to rely on barges and an air bridge coming across from Broome and other areas.”
About 150 evacuees — some from remote communities — were brought to Derby, prompting the introduction of temporary alcohol restrictions which have angered some locals.
Vital bridge build
The scam warnings came as the state government confirmed the flood-ravaged Fitzroy Crossing bridge, a crucial part of the Great Northern Highway transport route, would be rebuilt bigger and better after the once-in-a-century inundation.
In the meantime, a barge system will be implemented to allow traffic through while a low-level floodway crossing is built over the next four months.
Record flooding earlier this month destroyed 38 homes and damaged dozens more in the region, while more than 30 businesses were also wrecked.
The state government on Monday announced it would make additional subsidised flights available between Broome and Derby, which has been left with no alternative public transport.
Kimberley flood victims targeted by online scammers, with Serbian official’s picture used to promote the fraud
Latest News by ReportedCrime.com