Home Hacking Optus hack advice: Melbourne couple say they lost $40,000 after falling victim to cyber attack

Optus hack advice: Melbourne couple say they lost $40,000 after falling victim to cyber attack

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A Melbourne couple who have lost $40,000 to scammers says the experience has been like watching their house burn down.

Mary-Jane Daffy and Jim Marinis, who own and operate a cafe, believe they are victims of the Optus hack, with cyber criminals able to use their data to withdraw their cash, and set up loans and credit cards in their name.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: The staggering amount of money Aussies lose to scams revealed

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Daffy said the ordeal “snowballed” when the couple noticed an unauthorised transaction.

“Jim turned to me and said, ‘why did you take $9000 in cash out of the bank?’,” Daffy told 7NEWS.

“And I said I didn’t.

“It snowballed from there.”

Melbourne small business owners Mary-Jane Daffy and Jim Marinis have told their harrowing story of being scammed thousands of dollars. Credit: 7NEWS

The couple says around $40,000 has been stolen via teller withdrawals, while the scammers have racked up another $20,000 in fraudulent debt.

“There are real people on the end of this and there are real consequences for these breaches,” said Daffy.

“It feels like your house is burning down and you’re locked outside and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

The couple has told their story as a warning to others about the impact of identity theft.

It comes as Medibank – the second major Australian company after Optus to recently be hacked – late last week warned more customer data stolen by hackers, including passport numbers, will be uploaded to the dark web after the first files were dropped overnight.

The data trickle includes names, birthdates, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, health claims information, Medicare numbers for Medibank’s ahm customers and passport numbers for international student clients.

The Russian criminals believed to behind the operation to steal Medibank customer data have been told to expect an Australian counteroffensive as authorities zero in on the hackers.

Cybersecurity Minister Clare O’Neil says the federal government has launched a high-tech policing operation targeting the networks of hackers stealing the private information of Australian citizens.


Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Cyber Security, Clare O’Neil. File image.
Credit: James Ross/AAP

“The Albanese government stands with all Australians affected by recent cybercrime, and we’re doing everything within our power to bring the perpetrators to justice,” the minister said on Saturday.

“We all have a part to play in preventing and protecting ourselves from cyber criminals, but the Australian government is doing all we can to fight back against these thugs.

“We have a message for all cybercriminals: Australia is fighting back.”

She said the cyber operation would collect intelligence and identify the ringleaders, networks and infrastructure to disrupt and stop their operations “regardless of where they are in the world”.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the 100-office-strong, joint-standing cybercrime operation targeting the hackers would be led by the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Signals Directorate in a permanent and formalised arrangement.

– With AAP

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