Scammer targets Baldivis MLA Reece Whitby as State Government pushes scam watch


Reece Whitby, holding a copy of the scam message he received, with Bill Johnston.

The Facebook message scam.
Scam types and value of losses - 2017/ 2016.
Scammer targets Baldivis MLA Reece Whitby  as State Government pushes scam watch
Reece Whitby, holding a copy of the scam message he received, with Bill Johnston. The Facebook message scam. Scam types and value of losses - 2017/ 2016.

BALDIVIS MLA Reece Whitby was offered $13 million by a scammer – on the day the State Government launched a scam watch initiative.

The launch came after figures from Consumer Protection WA’s ScamNet showed 34 victims got scammed into buying iTunes cards worth $116,909 in 2017.

In comparison, 17 victims reported losses totalling $68,637 in 2016.

Losses from all types of scams for 2017 were more than $8 million – reported by 398 victims.

Mr Whitby said the scammer directly messaged his Facebook page.

“On Monday I received a direct message on Facebook trying to lure me with a $13 million bait,” he said.

“The message was from a Mr Vince Cook who claimed to work for the National Bank of Fujairah in Dubai.

“Mr Cook claimed that someone with my surname had deposited $26,700,000 in the bank but then died in an earthquake in Indonesian.

“Mr Cook offered to split the money with me and asked me to email him.

“I presume the next step was asking for my private banking details, so instead, I reported it to the State Government’s WA ScamNet.

“It’s a reminder these scams target everyone and we all need to be on guard.”

Mr Whitby said people should not give any personal details over the phone – and seek more information if they were suspicious.

Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston said everyone should work to protect vulnerable people from scams.

If you receive a suspicious email send it to wascamnet@dmirs.wa.gov.au or call the Consumer Protection Advice Line: 1300 30 40 54 for the cost of a local call anywhere in WA.