A man posing as an AFP officer has conned a young international student into handing over $38,000 in cash by claiming her debt would affect her visa status.
The 27-year-old Melbourne student received a call on August 16 from a man pretending to be from the federal police.
He told her if she did not pay her credit card debt then her visa status and future overseas travel would be affected.
The student’s call was then transferred several times until a female voice answered and told her to withdraw $20,000 from her bank and go to the Princes Gardens in Prahran, in Melbourne’s inner-south-east.
She went to the park and handed over the cash to a man pretending to a federal police officer, who then told her she owed another $20,000.
The victim told him she had only $18,300 left in her bank account, to which the man said she “only had to pay $18,000 and she could keep the $300”, police said.
She went back to the bank, withdrew the balance of her account and handed the money over to the man, later contacting police after questioning the legitimacy of the transaction.
The man who stole the money is about 178 centimetres tall with dark hair, a beard, big eyes and a thin build.
Detective Senior Constable Damian Faggian said the woman was “well travelled and intelligent” but the offender still managed to convince her to give him her life savings.
“We certainly hope to make some arrests in this investigation but if we can’t it is important to get this information out so no one else is taken in by this scam,” he said.