ANZ Debt collector creates fake Facebook profile to lure customers

An ANZ debt collector has created a fake Facebook profile under the name ‘Max Bourke’ to track down customers with bad credit histories that have not updated their personal and address details.

‘Max Bourke’ was a single guy, who like football, running on the beach and playing poker.

ANZ spokesman Stephen Ries has said: ‘This sort of activity we believe was isolated but it certainly wasn’t sanctioned or authorised by ANZ’

‘We’re taking this matter very seriously and we’ll take appropriate disciplinary action when the internal investigation is concluded.’

‘We have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to inappropriate use of our internal systems.’

David Cowling :

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  • Madeleine Kingstgon

    How terrible. What a misuse of the concept of social mkedia communicaiton.

    Glad the ANZ is taking this seriously and will consider discplinary action.

    It is this type of activity that paves the way for unwarranted censorship measures.

    Social media has much potential if used responsibly.



  • Elliot Mist

    I totally agree with you Madeleine. I think we will see more and more cases of social media beings used as a tool in fraud. It is up to us as social media industry folk to help spread the awareness of the problems we may face down the track.

  • Madeleine Kingston

    Hi Elliott

    I know there are many others who agree.

    Sometimes it is a hard call to reject social media opportunities if fear of misuse including phishing deters people from joining an otherwise useful platform for exchange of ideas.

    My goals in participating are to engage principally with Government with the view of influencing policy and legislative changes.

    I have been experimenting on the Gov2 platform and have made other postings on APO and other places.

    Someone had suggested the NING platform which after reading the terms and conditions, I rejected since the requirement was to provide date of birth and photographs. Whilst I am not particularly shy about these things, I felt the potential for abuse existing and that some measure of privacy should be maintained.

    On the other hand it would be a great pity of freedom of speech was to be curtailed by unnecessary broadband controls.

    I would be upset if the freedom to Twitter abo8ut items of news, to sp[read the word generally about concerns or to transparently participate in social media with government or others were in any way hampered.

    However, those making the cyberspace freely available for these purposes do need to be vigilant to ensure that abuse is minimized.