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Article originated from sorted.org.nz
Fraud has come a long way. From the chain letter pyramid schemes, offering “mail in $1 to just the six people on this list and you could end up with $10,000 in just 60 days!”, to now fake banking websites that look exactly like our real bank’s website, fraud is always going to be big business for the morally reprehensible and the downright desperate.
Whether it’s by phone, email, SMS, message board, or in person, we can all fall prey to scammers – and some of them have become very advanced in stifling people out of their money, operating sophisticated systems, or with rings of other people to provide an aura of authenticity.
Kiwi beware! These are just two of many common scams to keep your eyes open for:
This is a particularly prevalent scam and one that is pulled so often it just isn’t funny. Someone puts up tickets for an event (often a sold out one) on a website, buyer contacts seller and they meet up in person to exchange money for tickets, but then when the buyer arrives at said event ticket is a fake or has already been used, and the seller is no longer contactable. Always attempt to go through legitimate channels for ticket purchasing, check out the rules on the purchasing site for on-selling, and confirm seller has a positive selling history before going through any form of transaction.
Fake websites to elicit usernames and passwords
Got an email from your bank, requesting you check your transaction history, a new statement, or some upgrades, with a link attached? How sure can you be that the email is actually from your bank? Scammers are now building sophisticated websites that look exactly like your bank’s website, and then sending legitimate looking emails with links to the fake website, from legitimate-sounding emails (perhaps [email protected]y.co.nz instead of [email protected]ies.co.nz). From here you will enter your username and password into the fake website, essentially giving fraudsters the keys to your actual internet banking account.
Watching out for fraudsters
Things to stay wary of:
- If you are contacted out of the blue, especially if the contact is especially friendly
- If you need to pay someone before you reap the rewards that will come later
- If you see a seller with no online reputation
- If anyone asks you for personal or credit card details
- If the person tells you that this opportunity is ending very soon – so you don’t have time to consult with family and friends
- If someone tells you that you need to send money overseas
- If something seems too good to be true
To learn more about common scams, how to protect yourself from getting defrauded, or to report an incident yourself, visit the Consumer Protection website. Stay safe, stay informed, and stay skeptical!