See our COVID page for all the latest updates and information about what support might be available. Statements : Our statement service is back up and running. Use these instructions to extract your transaction history now if needed. We’ve all heard about online scams and it’s true that these can be dangerous. Here are some common scams to be aware of, and some ways you can keep yourself safe. Online dating scammers may approach you in a number of ways — chat rooms, social networking sites, unsolicited emails or dating websites — all the same ways that genuine lonely hearts will approach you.
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Due to the difficulty travellers are experiencing returning home, New Zealanders overseas need to take steps to stay safely where they are and shelter in place Read more. Recently a number of New Zealande rs have been manipulated and defrauded by persons abroad professing romantic interest and marriage intentions over the internet. Awareness is the key.
Scammers will use dating sites and apps or social media to build a relationship with someone. Once they’ve gained the person’s trust, the scammer will start to.
It was the question to which she had no answer: How could I have let this happen to me? Like just over Australian men and women last year alone, Jan had fallen victim to a highly sophisticated romance scam. She lost her entire life savings and all her superannuation. And, as she realised in the days and weeks that followed, there was virtually nothing she could do about it.
People wonder how you could be so stupid. A successful year-old IT consultant, Jan had recently moved back from Brisbane to her native Melbourne for work and to be closer to her family. She knew that Victoria was a wonderful place to visit and she wanted someone like-minded to explore with.
Don’t Let Cupid Scam You This Valentine’s Day
Running romance scams is a full-time job for some scammers and they can be very good at it. In reality, actual losses are likely much higher. A scammer pretends to be in a relationship with someone online in order to scam them out of money. They do this through email, social media, dating websites and other website and apps.
Fight fraud. We know you If you or someone you know is being scammed, report it to your bank or the New Zealand Police. By doing Scammers approach victims through chat rooms, social media, dating websites and unsolicited emails.
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Scams and how to avoid them
Wondering if that email or phone call is a scam? Learn about the most common types of scams and how to protect yourself. Sound familiar? Most of us are wise to the opening ploy of a scam letter. How they work: Scammers use online dating sites to form relationships with people who are looking for love.
Since Covid, there has been a rise in attempted fraud activity, Make sure your antivirus and security software are secure and up to date.
If you thought online dating websites are on the rise, than you would be right. However, not everyone who creates a profile on these sites has honorable intentions. Most dating scams start innocently enough. Scammers contact victims via social media sites or through email, claiming common interests or a distant, mutual connection—such as an introduction at a wedding or other large gathering. Other scam artists make their fake profiles look as appealing as possible and wait from victims to reach out and begin the conversation.
Once a scammer has you hooked, the possibilities are limitless, but here are a few of the most common variations:. Fraudsters may use the name and likeness of actual soldier or create an entirely fake profile. They send out legitimate-seeming emails, introducing themselves as being near the end of their careers, often with older children and typically widowed under tragic circumstances. The emails are riddled with military jargon, titles and base locations, which sound impressive.
In many cases, these scammers work with one or more accomplices who pose as doctors or lawyers to extract a steady stream of money. In many cases, military scams drag on for months or even years before victims finally get suspicious. The scammer then reveals their true identity. They claim to have made a video recording and threaten to share the video with mutual social media friends or post the recording online, unless the victim sends money. Once the victim complies, the cycle begins—demands increase until the victim finally refuses.
Romance scam victims speak out for Fraud Awareness Week
Online romance and dating scams are cruelly fleecing New Zealanders of millions of dollars. They want to believe the person they are in contact with is genuine,” Cocker said. There was a scam for everyone, whether they were looking for a partner, a car, a pet or a holiday. The most lucrative scam was an upfront money transfer connected to a fictional inheritance. Cocker said the most common swindle this year was people duplicating profiles on social media such as Facebook and asking the account-holder’s friends for money.
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After going through a tough divorce, friends convinced Susan to join Tinder and meet someone new. Susan, in her 40s, told him about how painful her divorce was and that she wanted to learn to trust again. Shaun said he’d be her rock. Over the course of six months, the scammer groomed and emotionally manipulated Susan, who wished to remain anonymous, into believing what they had was real. Once Shaun told her it was very cold in Afghanistan and asked if she’d buy him a jacket and send it to his cousin who’d be joining him there soon.
On the day he was set to arrive, Susan went to meet him at the airport. He never showed.
Scam and Spam Calling
Users of dating websites and apps are being reminded to stay vigilant as people in Britain lost 50 milion pounds to romance scams in , according to a report by the UK’s police reporting centre Action Fraud. According to the report, scams on dating sites and apps were hard to tackle because they were usually not large campaigns and were not generated automatically. Profiles of fakes and scammers used more images and “emotive language”.
The common words employed were “caring”, “passionate” and “loving”. Jake Moore, security specialist at ESET, says people still need to be aware of scams on dating sites and use common sense when communicating with people they do not know in real life.
An expert says scammers know exactly what their victims want to hear. from to across Australia and New Zealand revealed scammers used to move off the dating site onto either WhatsApp, Viber or Messenger.
With the increase in online dating options, con artists of all stripes have followed suit in developing new ways to lure the unsuspecting into relationships with the sole aim of bilking them. In reality, losses are likely much higher. The idea is to gradually build up a relationship over time and get the victim to trust them. Then they get to the real business at hand.
Consider this recent real-world example: At first, the victims received requests from their online boyfriends for small gifts, like gift cards for iTunes or cell phones. As the relationships evolved, so did the size of the gifts. The men, who all used false identities, claimed to be working overseas and needed money to help complete a project or to return home. In certain cases, victims are persuaded to buy items of value or even to launder money.
Everyone, no matter their age, education and income. But sadly, according to research, older adults over 70 are most frequently victimized. There are no one-size-fits-all answers for the best way to protect yourself against romance scams. But common sense is always going to be your best friend. It pays to be careful and use your best judgment. Other things to keep top-of-mind:.
The cost of empathy: Scammers set victims back almost $10m
Lonely and empathetic people need to be extra careful of falling for elaborate stories asking for increasing amounts of money, romance scam figures show. As recent BNZ research shows that a quarter of kiwis who lose money to scams don’t tell anyone, the true loss could be much higher. Financial Service Complaints Ltd FSCL typically gets involved at the point where a money transfer firm, such as Western Union, blocks a transfer upon suspicion of a scam.
Susan Taylor, chief executive officer at FSCL said that by that time, several payments to the scammer may have been made. Among recent cases, the company has dealt with is one where a man had been in an online relationship with a Nigerian woman for eight years. Having seemingly used payments to train as a nurse, the woman asked him for more cash to show local authorities she could purchase flights before joining him in New Zealand.
Keeping all software up-to-date. Installing security with about them. You can report scams and fraud to Netsafe or cyber security incidents to CERT NZ.
This page provides more on how to stay safe from scams generally so you know what to look out for. If someone contacts you out of the blue — whether over the phone, through the post, by email, on a website, in person or on social media — always consider the possibility that it may be a scam. Scammers offer exciting advantages to get you interested. They promise things like easy money, great bargains, inside knowledge or a caring relationship. Scams eventually lead to a request for money or personal information.
Scammers ask you to do things like enter details on a website, answer questions in a survey, or pay upfront for what they have promised. Pay in iTunes or other store vouchers Gift cards or iTunes vouchers are a common currency for scammers. Scammers can contact you pretending to be from a government department, law firm, telco or other trusted business, suggesting an urgent payment needs to be made using iTunes or other vouchers in exchange for solving an issue.
It can be to cover a tax, fine, legal fees, bills or any other costs. Scammers usually put some pressure on you, saying that you or somebody from your family might face criminal charges, lose immigration visa, or employment status. After the vouchers or cards have been purchased they will ask you for the voucher codes that they later on sell online at discount prices. Advance fee fraud is when someone asks you to pay a fee in order to get something valuable.
Promises made in this kind of scam can include inheritance payments, overseas trips, job offers or cars. The scammer will take your payment and never deliver what was promised.
Anatomy of Online Dating Scams – How Not to Become a Victim of Cyber-romance
The most common form of online scam. Advice: Reputable organisations will never ask for personal information through email or text. Type your email address into haveibeenpwned. A text or email from Inland Revenue asks for your account details so you can be paid a tax refund. Advice: Do your due diligence first.
A scammer requests fees upfront or personal information in return for goods, services, money or rewards that they never supply. Scammers invent convincing and seemingly genuine reasons for requesting payment, such as to cover fees or taxes. These scams are commonly mass-marketed with scammers sending them out to thousands of people all over the world at the same time, usually by mail or email. An email, letter or text message from an overseas lottery or sweepstakes company arrives from out of nowhere.
It says you have won a lot of money or fantastic prizes in a lottery or sweepstakes competition you did not enter. These scams try to trick you into giving money upfront or your personal details in order to receive the prize. Scammers typically claim that you need to pay fees or taxes before your winnings or prize can be released. They use these profiles to try to enter into a relationship with you so they can get a hold of your money and personal details.
The scammer will develop a strong rapport with you then ask for money to help cover costs associated with illness, injury, travel or a family crisis. Scammers seek to exploit your emotions by pulling on your heart strings.