Pensioner fleeced by suspected scam now faces eviction
IMAGINE relying on a meagre pension to survive, and one day finding half of your money gone - and you didn't spend it.
That's the horror story faced by Northern Rivers disability pensioner Craig Tweedie who woke up on Wednesday to find more than $550 had mysteriously disappeared from his bank account.
Mr Tweedie suffers from Type II diabetes and heart disease, recently had his right leg amputated and lives with a full-time carer.
The former commercial fisherman gets paid $812 a fortnight and needs almost 40% of that to pay rent.
Losing $568 would be a severe shock for anyone - but for Mr Tweedie it was potentially devastating.
"It's going to put him two weeks in arrears with his rent," his live-in carer Sheron Wood said.
"Fourteen days in arrears equals an eviction notice."
The pair are now frantically liaising with their landlord to try and explain the desperate situation.
The missing money had been taken out in 10 "pending" transactions marked clearly on his bank account.
They were recorded as having taken place at approximately 2am on Wednesday last week - the day after he got paid.
After seeing his bank balance, Mr Tweedie and Ms Wood went to the nearest Bendigo Bank branch in Grafton to ask the bank to put a halt to the pending transactions.
But to their surprise, the back said they had to wait until the money came out - not until February 28 - before investigating, which would then take an estimated "30 to 40 business days".
"The bank don't event know anything at the moment because they haven't investigated," Ms Wood said.
A Bendigo Bank spokeswoman said that due to privacy and banking regulations "we are unable to comment on specific customers and details relating to their accounts".
Mr Tweedie suspects his card, since cancelled, was "scanned" on a recent birthday fishing trip to Byron Bay and Brunswick Head.
He can't help but think back to every person they walked past on the street, or sitting next to them during lunch, who might have been carrying a suspicious device.
His only chance know is to wait, and to hope that the bank can do something about it.
But eight weeks is a long time.