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Fighting the fraudsters

Fighting the fraudsters

New research has found 33 per cent of New Zealanders have been actual or intended victims of scammers.

The tactics used ranged from emails, letters and phone calls to face-to-face meetings and ranged from fraudsters trying to obtain access to computers, bank accounts and other personal details, through to opportunity scams such as bogus lottery wins and previously unknown inheritances.

But while the fraudsters reached many people, only 16 per cent reported a loss, with 52% of respondents losing less than $500. The largest loss reported by a respondent was in excess of $800,000.

Recently a case study by Microsoft found that cybercrime has a global cost of around $600 billion a year, and is now bigger than the global drugs trade.*

The Commission for Financial Capability’s newly appointed Fraud Education Manager, Bronwyn Groot, who has an extensive background in detecting scams and helping the victims of fraud within the banking sector, said “Even very intelligent people get duped. The scammers move fast and hit hard, looking for any sign of vulnerability. They are organised, constantly evolving and the only way they will stop is if we stop sending them our hard earned cash and private information.

So when it comes to emails, phone calls, investment opportunities, lottery and inheritance wins – “STOP, THINK & RESEARCH” before you send any money or give out your bank account details or personal information. By making a simple google search or ringing your bank to check the email or phone call, could save you a whole lot of heartbreak and financial loss”.
The survey involved 1,034 people and the results are being released during International Fraud Awareness Week.

The survey also found most respondents when fallen victim to a fraud or a scam reported feeling annoyed (64%) and angry (42%), and most respondents (67%) were proactive in reporting this to an authority.

In response, to the growing fraud landscape in New Zealand, the Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) brought together the country’s leading experts on fraud and scams at the first ever New Zealand Fraud Forum today.

The event was co-hosted by CFFC, the New Zealand Bankers’ Association and the Banking Ombudsman Scheme and featured an international perspective from Fraud Expert Jeffery Thomason from Canada’s Anti-Fraud Centre.

One of the aims is to develop a nationwide conversation with key stakeholders to prevent more New Zealanders from falling victim to fraud and scams.

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