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Police warn public of resurfacing banking scam

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Sandy Beech

30 May 2024, 11:00 PM

Police warn public of resurfacing banking scamScam targets term deposit inquiries

Police are urging the public to exercise caution following the resurgence of a sophisticated banking scam targeting term deposit inquiries.

The scam has evolved, prompting Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Bolton, Auckland City CIB, to warn Kiwis about the deceptive tactics being employed.

“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,” said Bolton.

This scam, which first appeared in early 2023, involves victims entering their contact details online and speaking with a purported 'investment advisor' over the phone.

The scammer then has the victim complete professional-looking online documents before transferring their money to a New Zealand bank account, from which the funds are subsequently moved offshore.

The scam has resurfaced under the guise of Kiwibank, which has contacted the police to raise awareness.

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

Earlier this month, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) issued an alert about this scam.

Despite police efforts to investigate and address these scams, they emphasise the importance of prevention.

“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,” Bolton added.

To help the public protect themselves, police recommend several precautionary measures:

  • Never enter contact details into any online website that offers ‘term deposit’ rates.
  • If you have entered your contact details on a suspicious website, do not engage in phone conversations with the purported bank representative. Disconnect the call and contact your bank using a number from the bank’s official website.
  • Always call your bank for reassurance and confirmation that you are speaking with a legitimate employee.
  • Seek advice from a trusted friend, family member, or someone knowledgeable about investments before transferring any money.
  • Check the URL of the website you are directed to and confirm it matches the bank’s official website.
  • The Financial Markets Authority publishes names of suspicious companies on their website.

Bolton highlighted the prevalence of scams and the need for vigilance: “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 105 to report the matter.

Various resources are available for those affected by such scams.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment provides information on preventing scams on its Consumer Protection website, while the Financial Markets Authority and CERT NZ offer advice on avoiding and responding to online investment scams and cybersecurity incidents respectively.

For more information, visit: