Phone scam targets elderly

Hi Everyone, it seems as though these scams are never ending but it’s our priority to keep you informed and up to date!

The New Zealand Bankers’ Association recently issued a warning to beware fraudsters pretending to be utility companies and banks, and specifically targeting elderly people.

In the latest scam, fraudsters pretending to be power companies or telephone providers are calling people to say there’s a problem with their payments. They then transfer the call to a fake “bank”, which asks the target for information that allows them to access to their bank accounts and withdraw funds.

It’s important to remember your utility service provider will never call you and then transfer you to your bank. You should never give out bank account usernames, passwords, PINs or verification codes. While your bank may ask questions to confirm your identity, it will never ask for this confidential information.

Tips to help you avoid scams:

• If in doubt just hang up the phone.
• A bank will never ring you and ask you to provide account details or personal information. If you get such a call, phone 0800 ASK BNZ (275 269) or +64 4 924 0499 and ask for the Financial Crime Management Centre to report it.
• Never tell anyone your login details, PINs, passwords or verification codes – not even the police, bank staff, friends or family. Your bank will never ask you for your PINs or passwords.
• Check your statements. Advise your bank immediately of any unauthorised transactions.
• If you suspect you’ve been taken in by a scam, contact BNZ on 0800 ASK BNZ (275 269) or +64 4 924 0499 as soon as possible.

I suggest there are 2 approaches which should be considered here:

  1. People are responsible for their own money and the bank should not be involved in PSA’s. Let stupid people be stupid. Think Moral Hazard [1] here.
  2. Find a more effective way to target the demographic. Posting it up on a online discussion forum is unlikely to reach said demographic, for obvious reasons.

In any instance, dealing with the contactless payments problems is a far greater moral priority because this involves issues beyond a customer’s culpability.

  1. Wikipedia - “Moral hazard”
1 Like