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Don’t get caught by phishing scams this summer

Don’t get caught by phishing scams this summer

Never give anyone your PIN or internet banking username or password said the New Zealand Bankers’ Association as we head into the summer holidays.

“Your bank will never ask you for this confidential information,” said New Zealand Bankers’ Association chief executive Kirk Hope.

“You should never disclose passwords and other security information to anyone. If you do, you may be liable for unauthorised transactions.

“Online scammers use a range of ways to trick people into handing over personal information. Once they have that information, such as your account number, log-in details, or password, they can access your identity and your money.”

So-called “phishing” attempts are usually made by email or phone. Text message phishing is called “smishing”.

“Phishers” try to disguise themselves as a bank, or other trusted person or agency, and use convincing reasons to get personal details. They say they require the personal information for reasons such as security upgrades, verifying account details, and offering refunds.

Tips to avoid phishing scams:
• Logon to internet banking by typing in your bank’s full web address. Do not use links that appear to take you to your bank’s website.
• Keep your anti-virus and firewall software up to date.
• Don't give out account details over the phone unless you made the call and you trust that the number you called is genuine. Ask for a name and number so you can call them back, and check that number against a number you know to be genuine.
• Don’t reply to, click on any links, or open any files in spam emails. Don’t call any numbers in spam emails.
• Never send your personal details or accounts or passwords in an email.
• Check your account statements and credit card bill for unauthorised transactions.
• If you suspect you’ve been taken in by a scam, contact your bank immediately.

“Scammers are always developing new ways to get our money so it pays to be on guard. Beware lottery scams and offers of money from people you don’t know. If it seems too good to be true, it is. If you haven't bought a ticket, you can’t win. Scammers have also been known to hack email accounts, pretend to be someone else, then email their friends asking for money,” added Hope.

More information about banking and phishing scams is available here.


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