Stay ahead of the fraudsters this festive season

As Christmas approaches, the New Zealand Bankers’ Association (NZBA) is reminding people to watch out for financial crime.

“Fraudsters love this time of year. They know we’re busy getting ready for the holidays and might let our guard down. This presents an opportunity for them to try to steal our money,” says NZBA CEO Karen Scott-Howman.

This is great advice from NZBA, and here’s a few tips from us…

When you’re out doing your Christmas shopping or enjoying Christmas festivities, make sure you take care when using your BNZ cards and also making purchases online.

When shopping in stores keep these tips in mind:
• Keep your card in a safe place.
• Never share your PIN with anyone.
• Always shield the PIN pad if using an ATM or shopping in store.
• If you misplace your card or spot any unusual transactions, contact BNZ immediately.

When using the internet:
• Look out for dodgy links! Type in BNZ’s web address to access your internet banking and don’t click on links in e-mails.
• Look for secure websites with a padlock symbol in the address bar.
• Your bank account login details are not to be shared. The same goes for passwords, don’t disclose them.
• Two-factor authentication (2FA) provides an extra layer of protection on top of your password. Use this whenever possible.
• Shop with trusted retailers.
• Wi-Fi and public computers aren’t always secure. Keep this in mind when using them.

And let’s not forget online scams. Here are some red flags to look out for:
• Fraudsters like to disguise their identity so ensure that people e-mailing you are legitimate.
• Don’t respond to suspicious looking emails, or click on dodgy links.
• Avoid giving out personal information to people or organisations you aren’t familiar with.
• If someone wants to download software to your computer beware. This could be a scam.
• Security settings on your computer should always be up to date. Check and update these regularly.

If you think you’ve been the victim of fraud, contact 0800 ASK BNZ (275 269) or +64 4 924 0499 as soon as possible

For more information on how to protect yourself from fraud, see

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Internet Banking for BNZ customers IS secure because it requires you to enter co-ordinates from your printed ‘bingo’-card if money is to leave your account. Other banks rely on text-messages (SMS) that the average crook can easily intercept.

Many people travel overseas and leave their ‘bingo’-card at home. That’s VERY safe indeed, though it restricts your Internet Banking.