With scams on the rise, there has never been a more important time to be alert.*
Make Money Work for You
The best way to protect yourself is to know what to look out for. Here are some of the tricks that scammers are using right now:
Cloned investment companies and pension scams
Not everyone is who they say they are. Any company, even a big company, can be cloned so that documents and websites look like the real thing. They may try to tempt you with a new investment or suggest you move money from an existing investment or pension. Scammers do their research on you so they sound even more convincing.
To check if they are who they say they are, go to the New Zealand Companies Office website and search the company and look for any warnings. If they’re genuine, you can then contact the company in confidence using the genuine details. If you’re still unsure, speak to someone you trust or your financial adviser.
Email, text and phone scams
Emails, text and even phone numbers can be made to look like they’re from companies you’re already dealing with. They may ask for account details or remote access to your computer. If you’ve been contacted unexpectedly, always treat it as suspicious and avoid clicking on links. To be completely sure, call the company on a trusted number you’ve found online.
Cold calling and doorstep scams
People may ring you up or knock at your door pretending to be from a well-known organisation – even from your bank or the police. They may scare you into thinking your money is at risk. If anyone contacts you asking you to withdraw cash or hand over your bank details and PINs, put the phone down or close the door.
Rogue tradespeople may also call at your door saying they’ve noticed that something needs fixing on your house. Never hand over money following a cold call – do your research first.
Latest Scam – voicemail texts
Text messages are being sent by scammers all the time. The latest text scam tells you to click a link to listen to a new voicemail.
Clicking on it could infect your phone with a virus, and you may be asked to download an app or give account information. This could give scammers access to your account, so be careful – don’t click on links you’re unsure about.
As a nation, we aren’t known for being direct. We say ‘yes’ because they don’t want to appear rude by saying ‘no’. And when it comes to fraudsters, being indirect could have serious financial and emotional consequences.
Always take a moment or two to stop and check when you receive a message or phone call, even from companies you already deal with. Could it be fake? Are they asking you for personal information or money? Remember, you can always ask someone you trust for advice.
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has a warnings and alerts on it’s website. If you want to know some of the scams currently operating in New Zealand check it out here