Recently we’ve had reports that some of our customers have been receiving calls from people claiming to be from Inland Revenue to inform them that they owe money. We’ve also been told that in some cases, the callers have threatened our customers, and have even gone so far as to tell them that they’ll be charged with tax evasion if they don’t pay! And if that’s not stressful enough, the callers have also told our customers that their home and telephone number is being electronically monitored by Police and if they don’t pay as a matter of urgency, they could face imprisonment! Well, we’re here to tell you that if you receive a call like this, don’t’ believe a word of it.
The people on the end of the line are fraudsters. They will scare you into thinking that you’re in trouble with the ‘taxman’ and will say anything to get you to send cash overseas (generally via Western Union) or buy large amounts of iTunes vouchers to settle your ‘tax bill’ (no organisation, government or otherwise, has ever asked people to pay their debts with iTunes vouchers). Inland Revenue are fully aware of this activity and you can find more information on their secure website: [https://www.ird.govt.nz]
Just for the record, at BNZ we will always:
• Speak to you professionally, courteously and calmly during telephone conversations.
• Verify your identity before discussing any banking information with you.
• Be available for you to call us back if you feel unsure as to whom you’re speaking with.
We will never:
• Instruct you to withdraw cash while we’re talking with you on the telephone.
• Ask you for any personal information, such as passwords or PINs, by telephone or email.
• Send you a link to a website that asks for your personal information.
If you’re suspicious of an email that you’ve received, or if you’ve entered your personal information into a website, or if you have an unauthorised transaction on your bank account, please contact us immediately on 0800 ASK BNZ (275 269) or + 64 4 470 9021.
Similarly, if you think you’ve been caught up in a scam, or if you’ve provided personal information to someone over the telephone or via email, or if you suspect that your identity has been stolen, please call us on 0800 ASK BNZ (275 269) and ask to speak to the Financial Crime Management Centre.