Briony fell victim to an email scam that said she had won a round-the-world trip. The scam tricked her out of $5,000 in fake costs like visas, insurance and travel club membership. When she realised what was happening, Briony stopped contact with the scammer.
A week later, a man called, claiming to be an enforcer in the scam unit of the Malaysian police — where the travel scam had come from. Briony was relieved someone could help her get her money back.
When he asked her to pay a $250 administration fee via wire transfer to get back her money, Briony felt uncertain. She phoned Netsafe for advice, and learned about recovery scams. Netsafe confirmed the enforcer was a scammer, and helped Briony better understand what had happened.
Scammers aim to turn money transferred electronically into cash as soon as possible, making it hard for police in New Zealand to trace. The $5,000 Briony had paid to the travel scam could not be recovered.