Australian government setting up anti-scam centre as sophisticated syndicate shut down in Malaysia

A new multi-million-dollar anti-scam centre is being set up by the Australian government to stop scammers. 

It comes after Australian investigators from Channel Seven's Spotlight current affairs programme tracked down a sophisticated syndicate in Malaysia. It's a similar operation to one that trapped an Auckland woman.

It's a dramatic raid involving dozens of tactical police. An Australian journalist and private investigator tracked down a sophisticated scamming network inside secret offices in Kuala Lumpur. 

The eloquent and convincing British con artists are responsible for the $1 billion operation. One particular network is now mostly disabled following 24 raids and 81 arrests.

However, Kiwi Carla O'Neil lost her life savings to a syndicate that's still operating.

"I transferred $100,000," she said.

"I do consider myself tech-savvy and scam-savvy… it just looked so professional, so legit."

It wasn't, and there were no red flags she was being conned by a sophisticated scam. 

"There needs to be more to protect people if the account name and number doesn't match."

Australia's government will open anti-scam centres that are set up to intercept a scam before innocent people are hit.

O'Neil wants the same thing in New Zealand.

"It's devastating, it's my life savings, saving to buy myself a house."

She's hoping her bank will help retrieve her money and warns others to be even more vigilant.