AFL star and former No 1 draft pick loses ALL of his life savings after being targeted by sophisticated scam – and reveals his ‘biggest mistake’: ‘It was all taken way. All gone’
- Weitering was victim of a sophisticated scam that saw him lose his life savings
- The fraudsters pretended to be working for the fraud team at NAB
- He transferred the money to what he though was a ‘safeguarding account’
Carlton star Jacob Weitering has revealed how he lost his life savings in elaborate scam, warning his kind of ordeal ‘could happen to anyone’.
The Blues key defender told the Herald Sun he emptied all his bank accounts into what he thought was a ‘safeguarding account’, as instructed by the scammers.
By the time he realised what was happening, his life savings had vanished.
‘It was a very significant amount of money that I’ve struggled to deal with over the last six months,’ he said.
‘It was that the money that I’d worked hard for, and saved, was all taken away. All gone.’
Carlton star Jacob Weitering has revealed he lost his life savings to an elaborate scam
The financial blow derailed the 25-year-old’s plans to start a family.
‘Everyone’s got to pay their bills,’ he said.
‘I’ve got a mortgage and would also like to start a family. It severely impacts those plans.’
Weitering’s troubles started last September, when received a text message warning him about a ‘suspicious transaction’ that had allegedly been made ‘using your accounts’.
While texts are often scammers’ preferred method, the Carlton gun said he had no reason to doubt the legitimacy of the message.
The text appeared in a thread from his NAB bank about past suspicious transactions and was then followed up by phone calls from a number that appeared as NAB’s fraud line on Weitering’s phone.
‘They spoke perfect English, the guy almost sounded as if he were an Englishman,’ he said.
‘They went through the suspicious transaction, and played on my emotions a little bit.
The 25-year-old said the scam has derailed his plans to start a family
The first overall pick of the 2016 Draft, Weitering was told his accounts had been frozen and that money would have to be transferred into a ‘safeguarding account’
‘It was perfect. The text, the caller ID, the blocking of the suspicious transaction.’
The first overall pick of the 2016 Draft, Weitering was subsequently told his accounts had been frozen and that the money would have to be transferred into what the scammers called a ‘safeguarding account’.
Wanting to comply with the instructions and unaware he was being scammed, Weitering transferred money directly to the fraudsters over the following weeks.
He recalled making the transfers directly, sending amounts up to his daily transaction limit, which he now pinpoints as his ‘biggest mistake’ in the process.
‘I sent them the money directly,’ he explained.
‘That was the biggest mistake that I made, and that was built off the perfect role-playing at their end.
The 25-year-old (middle) initially did not disclose the scam to his teammates, but has decided to speak out to raise awareness and help those who may find themselves in similar situations
Weitering admitted it ‘was not an easy process’ to come to terms with the scam, which he initially didn’t disclose to his teammates.
He has since changed his mind and decided to speak out in the hope of helping those who find themselves in the same situation, warning seven in 10 people will not report being victim of a scam or fraud because of embarassment.
Throughout six matches this season, Weitering is averaging career-best figures in disposals, intercepted marks and spoils at 16.2, 2.8 and 6.8 per game respectively.
Carlton are eighth on the ladder after two consecutive losses against Adelaide and St Kilda and face the Eagles at Optus Stadium in Perth on Saturday.