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Phone scam targets elderly

Media Release

3 February 2017

Phone scam targets elderly

The New Zealand Bankers’ Association has issued a warning to beware fraudsters pretending to be utility companies and banks, and targeting elderly people.

“Never give out bank account usernames, passwords, PINs or verification codes. While your bank may ask questions to confirm your identity, it will never ask for this confidential information.

“If in doubt, just hang up and call your bank’s 0800 number to report the call,” says New Zealand Bankers’ Association chief executive Karen Scott-Howman.

In the latest scam, fraudsters pretending to be power companies or telcos are calling people to say there’s a problem with their payments. They then transfer the call to a fake “bank”, which asks the target for information that allows them to access to their bank accounts and withdraw funds.

“Your utility service provider will never call you and then transfer you to your bank,” says Scott-Howman.

Tips to help you avoid scams:

• A bank will never ring you and ask you to provide account details or personal information. If you get such a call, phone your bank’s 0800 number to report it.

• Never tell anyone your login details, PINs, passwords or verification codes – not even the police, bank staff, friends or family. Your bank will never ask you for your PINs or passwords.

• Check your statements. Advise your bank immediately of any unauthorised transactions.

• If you suspect you’ve been taken in by a scam, contact your bank as soon as possible.

More information on scams and how to avoid them is available here:

https://www.consumerprotection.govt.nz/get-guidance/scams-and-online-safety/scamwatch/scams/

ENDS


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