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Rising interest rates prompted aged care worker Marylynne Desveaux to check her home loan account but what she discovered left her “beside herself” with stress and worry.

Desveaux, 60, lost nearly $40,000 of her retirement savings to a “sophisticated” impersonation hack where cyber criminals hacked into her ING account’s payee contact list and changed the bank details of one of her contacts to a different account.

It allowed hackers to make multiple transfers under her friend Graham’s name to a scammer’s account, which seemingly bypassed the bank’s cybersecurity triggers and allowed them to take the funds from 16 transactions over five days.

READ MORE: How Queenslander lost $500K in retirement savings to investment scam

Desveaux said Graham was the only addressee in the list and the last transaction from that account was in 2018.

“I rang him up and said, ‘Graham are you getting some money from my account because it is showing it is going into your account?'” she told

They checked the account details and then realised it wasn’t his account number.

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Desveaux then contacted ING, which closed her accounts and asked her to get an IT specialist to check if she had any malware or viruses on her devices, which came back all-clear.

She then received a text from ING saying it couldn’t recover her funds and was now waiting for an investigation to be completed to find out if she would get anything back.

“You can’t just take somebody’s money … I’d be better off putting it under the mattress,” Desveaux said.

READ MORE: LoveGPT is the AI dating scam fooling Aussies

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