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Public Urged To Proceed With Caution After Damaging Banking Scam Resurfaces

Scammers behind fake term deposits scams have upped their game, and unfortunately, it means consumers need to be even more wary when making banking decisions.

Police are now issuing a warning to Kiwis to be alert when making enquiries into term deposits, with Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Bolton, Auckland City CIB, saying this particular scam is remerging under the guise of yet another bank.

“While at this stage, we in Auckland City are not immediately aware of receiving any reports relating to this new scam, we want our communities to be aware before it’s too late.

“This scam initially emerged in early 2023 and the modus operandi remains the same.

"Victims are entering their contact details online and talking to an ‘investment advisor’ on the phone, before completing online documents, which often look professional, before transferring their money into a NZ bank account," he says.

“At this point the money is usually transferred off-shore by the holder of that bank account."

Detective Senior Sergeant Bolton says Police have now been contacted by Kiwibank to let us know they have been made aware it is appearing again under their name.

“It’s just one of many sophisticated ways scammers are attempting to deceive hardworking New Zealanders for their own financial gain.”

Earlier this month, the Financial Markets Authority also issued an alert to advise of this particular scam.

Detective Senior Sergeant Bolton says Police are continuing to make enquiries into other matters involving other renditions of this scam.

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“It is truly devastating to be the victim of a scam like this. We have spoken to countless victims and made enquiries into numerous reports and we do not want to see more people falling victim to these types of scams.

“While Police will investigate and make enquiries where possible when these matters are reported to us, we want to assist with preventing it before it can even happen.”

Police recommend the following steps you can take to protect themselves from this scam:

• Never enter contact details into any online website that offers ‘term deposit’ rates
• If you think you may have entered your contact details on a website offering fake term deposits, do not engage in conversations over the phone with a person purporting to be from a bank - disconnect the call and phone back on a number displayed on the bank’s website
• You can always call your bank to seek reassurance and confirmation you are talking to a trusted and legitimate employee
• Seek advice from a trusted friend or family member, or someone who has knowledge of investments before sending any money anywhere
• Check the URL of the website that you are directed to and confirm it is the valid website for the bank that you believe that you are dealing with
• The Financial Markets Authority publishes the names of suspicious companies on their website.

Detective Senior Sergeant Bolton says, unfortunately, there is never a shortage of scams the public should be wary of.

“Please be vigilant with your money. We urge anyone who sees something online they think might be attractive or a great deal to do their research, speak to friends and family, check with the FMA, and don’t be afraid to question anything that may be out of the ordinary.”

If you believe you are or have been the victim of fraud, contact Police at 105.police.govt.nz , or call Police on 105 and report the matter.

Additionally, a number of resources are also available to those who believe they may or could be the victim of this type of offending.

There are several NZ Government websites that have information and advice to help avoid falling victim to common fraudulent activity and scams.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has more information on how you can prevent yourself, family and friends from being scammed. Visit https://www.consumerprotection.govt.nz/general-help/scamwatch/(link is external)

The Financial Markets Authority provides helpful advice on its website to help avoid falling victim to online investments scams. Visit https://www.fma.govt.nz(link is external)

CERT NZ provides advice on how to respond to an avoid cyber security incidents. Visit https://www.cert.govt.nz/

© Scoop Media

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