Stay Smart in New Zealand: Common Scams to Watch Out For
Tuesday 22 October 2019, 3:10AM
There are variety of ways in which fraudulent persons might try to scam you out of your hard-earned money. These scammers may contact you through the internet by emails or through messaging you on social media platforms. Other scammers may even meet you in person, text or call you. Regardless of the method through which these fraudulent entities contact you, you need to be a step ahead of them and know the various forms by which they could approach you.
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Variety of common scams you need to be careful about
Phishing scams: With the improvement in technology, there are a variety of disadvantages, phishing is one of them. In this instance, the scammer sends you a text or an email in order to trick you into giving out your sensitive information such as passwords, bank account numbers as well as credit card numbers. The scammers pretend to be from a real business, most times they claim to be representatives from your bank, or some provider you’d subscribed to such as your internet service providers and their intention is to trick you into confirming your personal details. These calls, emails or messages usually look quite real and are even styled in the exact format used by the organisation they pretend to represent. Some of them contain links which lead you to unsecure sites asking you to fill in your personal details.
Phone scams: This scam entails a fraudster calling your number and pretending to be a representative from a reputable company or even a sector in the government, though the aim of the call is to acquire your personal information.
Online dating scams: Thanks to social media, a good number of people find love on the internet; however, unscrupulous entities have invaded this particular area and cause untold pain to their victims. In this situation, a person may chat you up and engage you in friendly discussions, with the aim of getting you romantically and emotionally attached. With time, such person begins to make financial requests from you, or asking you personal details about yourself. Many persons fall for this as their emotions get the better of them.
Identity theft: Here, the scammers try to get hold of some of your personal information and pin numbers or passwords. After getting hold of such information, they attempt to impersonate their victims in order to acquire their personal details.
Investments scams: Here, scammers inform you that you can acquire very high returns in an investment scheme, they also promise you very minimal risks in such investment schemes.
Lottery/competition or Inheritance scams: In this situation, the scammer contacts you informing you that you’ve got a huge inheritance to be claimed or that you’re the lucky winner in a particular promo or lottery. Such scammers then include the clause, that however, before you are able to claim these inheritances or lottery rewards, you must pay some fees to process them successfully.
Door to door scams: Here, a scammer physically meets up with you pretending to offer a service, it could be at your house. Such scammer then offers to carry out a service for you and bargains with you for an upfront fee which you may feel is a no-brainer. However, after such a person is done carrying out such service, such scammer does such a job badly or tricks you into thinking something has been improved, when actually nothing was done.
Computer virus scams: This is also quite common, these scammers inform you that due to some of your interactions on the web, your computer has caught a virus which can be fixed by them. However, such scammers try to remotely access your computer and acquire your personal or financial details.
How to Prevent Scam Attacks
More scams get introduced daily and try to appear as genuine as they can in order to trick unsuspecting persons. Some are not even from New Zealand but from foreigners. However, there is so much useful information online available to help you and you can prevent all unfortunate scamming incidents by taking some of the following steps:
- Using difficult passwords (mixture of lowercase and uppercase letters as well as numbers),
- Avoid revealing your personal details or PIN to anyone via call, emails or texts. Always ensure you go to your bank or the organisation of concern to resolve any issues.
- Avoid replying suspicious texts or mails.
- End any calls which ask for your personal or financial details before they entice you.
- Never click links shared in suspicious emails, delete them without responding.
- Using up to date security software on your gadgets