As part of this year’s annual Fraud Awareness Week campaign 17-23 November, we are encouraging New Zealanders to take a moment and stop and think ‘is this for real?’ when they’re contacted unexpectedly and being asked for personal information.
Help us minimise the impact of scams by sharing this page with your friends and family.
Watch this video to see how scammers can reach you unexpectedly to get personal information and into your bank account.
Video transcript: Phone scam example
Day. Kitchen, middle New Zealand home, lap top computer on bench.
A Woman (Kate) is on the phone to a Scammer, concerned and a little flustered at hearing her computer has a problem...
Scammer (friendly, convincing voice): “Your internet is not on a secure line, I’ll just need you to give me remote access to your computer so I can fix it for you…”
Kate (flustered) makes a move towards her laptop: “Oh no, well ok, how do I let you on to my computer…”
A dog puts his paw on hers hand and looks earnestly at her, staring into his eyes it’s as if he’s communicating – we begin to hear his internal monologue.
Dog: Are you sure this is a good idea?”
The dog shakes his head looking up at the Kate.
Dog: “they’re callin’ out of the blue, trying to get on to your computer, getting you worried…they’re trying to hack into your banking!”
Kate (to the dog, realising he is trying to warn her): “what should I do?”
Dog: “Just hang up! Give yourself time to stop and think – Is this for real? You can always call the company’s listed number and check”
Kate decisively presses the button to hang up phone.
End frame graphic overlay: Stop & Think – Is this for Real?
Kate scratches behind the dog’s ear.
Dog: “Now….where do you keep the sausages?”
Watch this video to see how scammers can use email to hack into your bank account.
Email scam example video(external link)
How to recognise a scam
It’s very likely to be a scam if:
- somebody contacts you unexpectedly - always question uninvited approaches in case it is a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.
- you are being pressured to make a quick decision that will cost you – a genuine bank or trusted organisation would never do this.
- they ask you for money or personal information - a genuine business, bank or government department will never contact you to ask for your PIN, password or to move money to another account.
- you are being asked to click on a link in an unexpected email or text – you could be giving access to your personal and financial details.
Listen to your instincts – if something feels wrong then it generally is.
What to do
Never click on the links or attachments in e-mails and text messages that ask you to login or verify your password. Instead, go to the legitimate website and log in from there.
Always double-check if a person, offer, or company is legitimate before providing any details or payments. Contact the company from their official website address, rather than using the information they provide.
Ask somebody for help or even for a second opinion – do they think it’s real?
Where to get help
Helps New Zealanders stay safe online, with expertise in online bullying, harassment and abuse under the Harmful Digital Communications Act and all types of scams.
Supports individuals and organisations affected by online incidents, such as online scams or cyber security incidents. Helps people recognise and avoid online scams and fraud.
0800 CERT NZ (0800 2378 69)
Liaises with overseas agencies. Prevents, investigates and prosecutes crime within our communities.
In an emergency, call 111
24/7 support, information, and advice for victims of crime.
0800 842 846
Helps resolve and prevent banking problems, including scam-related issues.
0800 805 950
Commission for Financial Capacity
Support and education for helping kiwis get savvy on scams.
(09) 356 0052
Financial Markets Authority
Takes investment scam reports. Provides a warnings list and information on how to avoid scams.
0800 434 566
Department of Internal Affairs
Regulates the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007, which prohibits the sending of spam.
The Commerce Commission
Enforces the Fair Trading Act, which prohibits misleading conduct and unfair selling practices by those 'in trade' in New Zealand.
Serious Fraud Office
Investigates and prosecutes serious financial crime, including bribery and corruption.