A new angle on an old scam

Those sneaky scammers are at it again. It’s likely you’ve heard of the ‘Government Grant’ scam, whereby victims are cold called and advised that they are being awarded a ‘grant’ for any number of reasons. They just have to pay a small ‘fee’ to receive it.

Recently we’ve had reports that some of our customers are being duped into disclosing their credentials to callers claiming to be from the fabricated ‘New Zealand Government Grants Board’. The caller offers the recipient a grant for several thousand dollars due to their ‘clean record’ and absence of criminal convictions or bankruptcies. After confirming their personal details, the scammers specify that the recipient is required to pay a fee in order to receive their grant.

If you are cold called at any time and told that you are owed money by way of a grant, lottery, tax or anything similar, hang up the phone immediately. You do not need to be polite and most importantly you should refrain from handing over any personal details.

Whilst the look of scams may change slightly, their aim is always the same – to con innocent victims into handing over their hard earned cash. Don’t let it be you!

Some Tips & Tricks
• Be scam savvy – if you get an unsolicited call and the caller requests personal information, it is likely to be a scam. Banks, corporate businesses and government departments like ‘Immigration New Zealand’ or ‘Spark’ never email, call or send text messages requesting money. If you receive a request like this, it’s a scam.
• Hang up and verify who they are by looking up their contact details using reputable open source information. Also remember, if BNZ calls you, we will always be available for you to call us back if you feel unsure as to whom you’re speaking with. Scammers will not be comfortable with this.
• Protect your personal information and financial details – don’t provide your details to anyone who has contacted you out-of-the-blue who you don’t know and trust. Even if they claim to be from a reputable company or government department, it may still be a scam.
• If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Remember at BNZ we will never ask you for any personal information, such as passwords or PINs, by telephone or email.

If you’ve given your personal information out over the phone, or if you have an unauthorised transaction on your bank account, please contact us immediately on 0800 ASK BNZ (275 269) or +64 4 924 0499.

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Theres alot of Diffferent Scams going around Lately. We have been getting lots of calls from People saying they are from Microsoft & say Are you standing beside your computer ? You know its a scam as when you pick the phone up theres a silence at start before they cut in. I just hang up on them.

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Hi Ferrit47, Yes the Microsoft scam is another common one! Silence at the start of the call is a good giveaway. That’s great to hear that you don’t engage in conversation with the callers. :slight_smile:

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I like to play along with them a little and then ask them, with all the problems that they have identified on my infected computer/laptop, can they provide me with my Microsoft Product Key/License number, then watch them scurry for the hills.

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I have been talking to Spark & they said they are doing all they can to try to stop them. They have asked me to note down Time & Day. The person said they will keep in contact with me. I found them very Helpful.