Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Bay of Plenty house purchase scam targets lawyers

MEDIA RELEASE: For immediate use, 8 November 2011
Bay of Plenty house purchase scam targets lawyers

The New Zealand Law Society is warning New Zealand property lawyers about an email scam in which lawyers are asked to act on behalf of an Englishman for the purchase of a house in New Zealand.

The Law Society’s Financial Assurance Manager, Diane Bradley, said today that the scam contains quite detailed information on the house and also includes a photo of a fake passport.

The scammer – who identifies himself as “Mike Garry” – is contacting lawyers by email saying he lives in London and is moving to New Zealand with his family in a few months. He says he has obtained the lawyer’s contact details from the Law Society’s Property Law Section website.

“While a lot of email scams contain very little New Zealand-specific information and are sent to lawyers around the world, this one is targeted right at New Zealand property lawyers,” Ms Bradley said.

“Several of the emails we have seen say the house is located at Pukehina beach near Te Puke and that it has been viewed by Mike Garry’s cousin. The scammer asks the lawyer to act for him and to send details of their bank account for deposit of the full purchase price.”

Ms Bradley said that the usual pattern for such scams was for the scammer to send a forged cheque which was then banked by the lawyer. It was likely that the plan for this particular scam involved payment of the money in the lawyer’s account to an accomplice.

“Email scams which target lawyers are relatively common unfortunately,” she said. “Any lawyer who believes they may have received an email from a scammer can contact the Law Society or check the special scam section on our my.lawsociety website. We also recommend that lawyers should not engage in correspondence with the scammer.”

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Tax Bill Passes, Drops: “An End To Unnecessary Secondary Tax”

“The changes mean Inland Revenue will more closely monitor the tax paid by wage and salary earners through the year. If it appears the worker is being over taxed, Inland Revenue will suggest a more suitable PAYE tax code tailored to that worker.” More>>


Ethiopian Airline Crash: Boeing 737 Max Aircraft Operations Temporarily Suspended

New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority has suspended the operation of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to or from New Zealand. Currently this affects only one operator, Fiji Airways. There are no other airlines that fly this aircraft type to New Zealand. More>>


Sorting Out DNA: Crime-Busting Software Wins Top Science Prize

Software developed in New Zealand that has contributed to identifying suspects in tens of thousands of criminal cases around the world has won the 2018 Prime Minister’s $500,000 Science Prize. More>>


In The High Court: IRD Wins Tax Avoidance Case

Inland Revenue has won a High Court case against Eric Watson’s Cullen Group over a nearly $52 million tax debt. More>>


Insurers Withdraw From Market: Plea For EQC Rethink

A consumer watchdog wants the government to rethink the Earthquake Commission (EQC) as more people are pushed out of getting property and contents insurance. More>>


Women's Day: New Zealand Rated Third Best In OECD For Working Women

New Zealand has been rated among the top countries in the world for working women. The Women in Work Index rated New Zealand third in the OECD and it was the only country outside Europe to make the top 10. More>>