Scams target New Zealanders of all ages and backgrounds. They can come in many forms including an email, a letter, a website or a phone call. Whatever the method, a scam is about tricking you into parting with your money and they are becoming increasingly sophisticated.
How do I avoid scams?
When you have been asked for personal information, to sign up to something or to hand over money there are some key things to bear in mind:
There are no get-rich-quick schemes: 'if it seems too good to be true, it probably is'.
Don't hand over your personal details or money to someone you haven't met who solicits them from you online, via e-mail or text.
Be wary about providing personal information, passwords or bank details in response to communications that you owe money or that you are owed money.
When you are buying goods or services on-line check make sure you know who you are dealing with.Check review sites, social media and websites like Scamwatch to find out about other peoples experiences before you hand over money or personal details.
What types of scams does the Commission deal with?
The Commission can take action about misleading or deceptive conduct that occurs in trade, for example in the context of the sale or supply of goods or services. These include:
You can report financial and investment scams to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Their website has information about how to avoid financial and investment scams and steps you can take to protect yourself.
You can report instances of fraud and theft to your local police station.
Report banking scams to your bank or financial institution.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) provide resources on spotting and avoiding scams on their Scamwatch webpage which includes examples of scams that are circulating through Australasia.