#ScamsWeek18 - All wrapped up!

financialcrime

#1

If you received a call out of the blue from Inland Revenue saying you had a tax debt that you had to pay immediately or be arrested, what would you think? If Spark called you and said there were internet problems in your area and they needed remote access to your computer or they would disconnect your service, what would you do?
While it would be understandable if your initial reaction was fear or panic, during Scams Awareness Week, we urged you to take a moment: ‘Stop and check – is this for real?’ Here are a few top tips for you to take away!

Top Tips!

  1. When dealing with uninvited contacts from government agencies or trusted businesses – whether over the phone, by email, mail, in person or through social media – always consider the possibility that it may be a scam.
  2. If you’re unsure whether a call or email is genuine, verify the identity of the contact through an independent source, such as a phone book or online search, then get in touch with them to ask if they contacted you. Don’t use the contact details provided by the caller or in the message they sent to you.
  3. Don’t respond to threatening emails or voicemail messages asking for you to call someone back. If you do, the scammers may increase their intimidation and attempts to get your money.
  4. Never send money or give your bank account details, credit card details or other personal information to anyone you don’t know or trust, and never by email or over the phone.
  5. A government agency or trusted business will never ask you to pay by unusual methods such as with gift or store cards, iTunes cards, wire transfers or Bitcoin.

Have you been scammed?

  1. If you’re suspicious of an email you’ve received, or if you suspect you’ve been taken in by a scam, contact BNZ on 0800 ASK BNZ (275 269) or + 64 4 470 9021 as soon as possible.
  2. As scammers are often based overseas, it is extremely difficult for government agencies to track them down or for law enforcement to take action against them. So, take the time to warn your friends and family about these scams.
  3. For more information about scams, where to get help if you’ve been scammed or to report a scam, visit the Scamwatch website.
  4. Know that a government agency or trusted business will never ask you to pay them with gift or store cards, iTunes cards, wire transfers or Bitcoin.
  5. Don’t open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or click on links or attachments in emails – just delete them. These could infect your computer with malware.
  6. Never give anyone remote access to your computer if they’ve contacted you out of the blue – whether through a phone call, pop up window or email – and even if they claim to be from a well-known company like Spark.

If you realise you’ve lost money or given your personal details to a scammer, there are steps you can take straight away to limit the damage and protect yourself from further loss:

  1. Contact BNZ immediately on 0800 ASK BNZ (275 269) or + 64 4 470 9021 as soon as possible.
  2. If you’ve given your personal information to a scammer, visit IDCARE Australia and New Zealand’s not-for-profit national identity and cyber support service. IDCARE can work with you to develop a specific response plan to your situation and support you through the process.
  3. As offenders are often based overseas, it is extremely difficult for government agencies to track them down or for law enforcement to take action against them. So, take the time to warn your friends and family about these scams.

For more information about all scam types, where to get help or to report a scam, visit the Scamwatch website.

Finally, if you’re concerned that you or your family member may have been taken in by a scam, you should contact BNZ immediately on 0800 ASK BNZ (275 269) or + 64 4 470 9021 as soon as possible.