How an Aussie teacher lost $500k with a single text message – after working for years to scrape money together to set her family up for life
- Jody and Corey Bridges lost $500,000 in savings at hands of online scammers
- Online thieves pretended to be affiliated with ANZ as an investment company
- Highly audacious scammers then threatened shattered couple when exposed
An Australian couple has been scammed out of half a million dollars – after 15 years of juggling multiple jobs to get ahead financially.
Maths teacher Jody and her landscaper husband Corey Bridges had $500,000 stolen when they transferred the funds to a fake bonds investment company pretending to be affiliated with ANZ Bank.
The NSW Central Coast couple, who have three young children – Tahnee, Ava and Isla – were recently on cloud nine after selling a Sydney property during the Covid housing boom, walking away with a juicy $1million in profit.
Inexplicably, half of that windfall has been stolen online.
Jody and Corey Bridges (pictured together) have been scammed out of $500,000 at the hands of a fake investment company
‘We used to work five jobs between us. I’m a school teacher and then I used to tutor students every afternoon,’ Jody told A Current Affair.
‘My husband has his own landscaping business and pretty much works 18 hour days, six days a week.’
Ms Bridges described the feeling of finding out she’d been scammed as ‘gut-wrenching’.
Jody did her due diligence, confirming Capel Court’s ABN with Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).
Capel Court is a legitimate registered company, but it appears Ms Bridges was fooled by a copy of the website and duped into corresponding over a number of weeks with the ruthless scammers.
She transferred four payments of $250,000 to an ANZ account associated with the scammers from her own Teacher’s Mutual bank account.
The ruthless scammers then threatened the couple after they tried to recoup their hard earned money
Jody Bridges said it was ‘gut wrenching’ when she was informed she had been scammed
Two payments were returned but two went through – and by the time the bank tried to retrieve the further missing $500,000, the money had been transferred to an untraceable bitcoin fund.
‘I would never ever forgive myself … the guilt I have to live with. I could never work enough to ever repay that,’ Ms Bridges told news.com.au
‘I didn’t come from a lot, I feel my job in life is to set my kids up, to be the best mum I can and to set my kids up for life.’
She is also angry her bank processed two huge payments to the scammers after stopping another two.
‘I believe they’ve been negligent in their duty of care,’ a tearful Ms Bridges said.
‘Nobody’s hard earned money should be gone with just the click of a button.’
The brazen scammers even had the audacity to get angry at Jody after she refused to transfer more money.
‘If there was something untoward I wouldn’t even bother calling you back. Jody your money is absolutely fine and it is being recalled,’ the scammer said initially.
When another online thief was informed she would not open a crypto account to wire more funds, she was incredibly labelled a ‘time waster’ and then sworn at repeatedly.
Jody and Corey have reported the matter to NSW police, the banks, ASIC and the Australian Financial Complaints Authority.
They do not hold high hopes of seeing their money returned.
Ms Bridges also queried why Teachers Mutual Bank weren’t more thorough in the bank transfers
ANZ and Teachers Mutual Bank both wouldn’t comment directly on the Bridges’ situation, but stressed the importance of customers being savvy with large amounts of money.
‘ANZ works hard to protect its customers from scams with a specialist team monitoring for unusual activity around the clock,’ a spokesman said.
‘We do not publicly comment on any specific customer details, however we are aware of this latest bond scam, which is a particularly sophisticated operation that has unfortunately defrauded some people of their money.
‘ANZ is assisting NSW Police with its ongoing investigations into the matter.’
A spokesperson from the Teachers Mutual Bank added: ‘We work to help keep our members safe from scams and financial loss.
‘As this matter is presently before the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, we cannot comment any further.’