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Over $10 million dollars in losses were reported to Netsafe in 2017 by New Zealanders. The number is expected to be much higher as not everyone reports if they have fallen target to a scam. The largest loss was $480,000 and the smallest was $1. The average loss was $10,771.
Scams are constantly evolving, however, there are few common online scams that crop up often and a few steps you can take to help protect yourself according to Netsafe.
Protect yourself from scams:
- Don’t respond to phone calls or contact about your computer asking for remote access to fix it. No one is going to contact you out of the blue about a problem with your computer.
- Use good, strong passwords on online accounts – and don’t tell anyone what they are. Legitimate organisations will never ask you for your passwords.
- Always keep your personal information secure. Think carefully before entering your details online, or giving them to someone.
- If someone offers you money or another offer, but you have to make a payment up front, ignore it. This is a common tactic of scammers.
- Use a good antivirus and keep your software up to date. This will help to protect your device from someone trying to access it.
- Be wary of unusual payment requests. Scammers try to use payments that can’t be traced such as pre-loaded debit cards, gift cards that can be used online, iTunes cards or money transfer systems.
If you’re not sure if something is legitimate or genuine you can contact us for free advice seven days a week on 0508 NETSAFE or visit netsafe.org.nz
Protect information that can be used to access your accounts, build a fake online presence or impersonate you:
- Login details and passwords to any online account including banking, email, social media and trading sites
- Bank account and credit card details
- Phone number
- Personal information linked to the security questions on your online accounts
- Driver’s license
- Passport details