Keep yourself safe from scams
Being more aware of scams is worthwhile. Many New Zealanders are caught in scams each year, resulting in significant financial losses.
There is no real way to tell for certain if an opportunity is legitimate. The things we consider as signs a company or person is trustworthy are the same things scammers imitate.
Learning how to recognise scammers’ tactics is the best way to avoid being scammed.
To reduce your risk of being scammed:
- Be suspicious. Scammers work hard to appear trustworthy, and it’s good to do some research or thinking before you engage with a person or opportunity.
- Don’t trust unexpected contact. Scams most often come through cold contact, eg an unexpected phone call or email. Always take steps to know who you’re dealing with find out more before considering any offers.
- Do your research. Use Google to look into the names of people or companies who approach you.
- Resist demands to act quickly. Anyone presenting a legitimate opportunity will allow you time to consider your response. If you feel under pressure, take some time — or turn it down.
- Keep your computer virus protection up to date. CERT NZ’s website has advice for anyone wanting to improve their personal cyber security.
Getting started with cyber security(external link) — CERT NZ guide
- Never open attachments or click on links in emails if words or images make you feel unsure about the sender. You have nothing to lose by deleting the email.
- Use different passwords for logging in to online services. If some of your information is compromised, you won’t lose it all.
- Reserve the right to be impolite. Sometimes you need to be firm to keep yourself safe from scams. It’s OK to say no outright if you have a bad feeling about something.
It is best to be suspicious of any contact you weren’t expecting. Taking time to consider an offer could be the difference between being caught in a scam and avoiding it.