Plausible(?) scam attempt

Mid-afternoon on Thursday I had a call on my mobile with no caller ID. I answered it and was greeted by a male voice claiming to be from a National Australia Bank (NAB) section dealing with fraud. I bank with NAB so I was primed to listen carefully.

My caller addressed me by name and described how earlier in the day there had been an attempt to change the password on my NAB account and that later there had been two attempts at access from an iPhone 13 in Auckland. The amount of detail added plausibility. I was sitting in front of my computer and logged into my account where I found that all appeared to be as it should be.

The caller went on to say that in order to deal with the issue he needed me to confirm my identity by telling him my NAB login ID. I’ve seen lots of NAB notices warning against revealing personal or account information to anybody, including NAB officers. I declined to give my ID and instead suggested that he tell me what it was (he must have it if he was attempting to confirm it) and I would confirm or not.

He declined but insisted he was from NAB head office in Melbourne and gave me a name and employee ID to convince me it would be OK to tell him my ID. I declined again, telling him I could not verify his name or NAB employee details and that his telephone number was not available for checking either. We went to and fro I that vein for a couple of minutes.

It must have been about then that I heard a dog barking in the background. I remarked that it seemed unusual for there to be a dog barking in the NAB head office. He explained that there was a veterinary next door, to which I expressed surprise that NAB head office did not have better sound proofing.

His next ploy was to advise me that, if I would not give him my details, I should present myself at a NAB branch with 100 points of ID so they could verify what he was saying. I assume he thought that would be too much trouble and I would cave. The dog barked again and I told him again that I doubted his authenticity and would talk to my local NAB branch. He bade me farewell. Surprisingly for a scammer he was polite to the end. In my experience once they are caught out they typically become abusive.

I gathered up my 100 points of ID and drove to the NAB branch to be on the safe side. All they needed was my credit card, which is linked to my other accounts, to access their records that showed no unusual activity and no record of a call to me from head office which would have been logged against my account.

It was, as I suspected from the moment I was asked for NAB details, an attempted scam. I can imagine that it might work on some. The details added plausibility and raised concerns that something might be happening on the accounts. The barking dog added to my suspicions and the next door veterinary explanation was unconvincing. Perhaps if he had explained it was a support dog of some kind I might have bought that.