hearts on a keyboard
Research report

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.

Member comments

Get access to comment

David B.
22 Aug 2020
Telephone call computer scam

I was rung yesterday by a person claiming to be from the Westpac Bank fraud department stating that I had two payments including one from Amazon waiting to be processed for $1200 and $800. After verifying that this was incorrect I was passed through various 'departments' in order for these to be stopped. After logging onto my computer they then adroitly directed me to the mycompter login page and obtained the computer ID and password for my computer. After requesting details of other banks with which I hold accounts I terminated the call. I then contacted Westpac and was advised by their fraud department that this was a scam. At the banks request I now need to clean everything off my computer after backing everything up with an inconvenient hold being placed on my on-line banking until this is done.

Helen R.
17 Oct 2019

Yesterday an Indian gentleman called landline to inform me that an attempt to remove $1200 off my visa account had occurred out of China.
He asked for my date of birth and then suggested that I should go into my google account and check my IPN number . When I requested his identification he hung up.

5 minutes later another Indian suggested that my landline was going to be disconnected.

My internet is hard wired into the phone line. Is it true that the longer they have you on the phone the more information they can access to rob your bank accounts?

Consumer staff
17 Oct 2019
Re: Helen

Hi Helen,

When you have a scammer on the line it doesn’t matter how long they are there, the only info they can glean is what you tell them. If the call is clearly a scam just hang up immediately. If you’re concerned there may be some truth to it (such as a fraudulent credit card transaction), then ask for their name and say you’ll call through the official phone number.

I would strongly caution the use of perceived race or nationality as a way of detecting scammers. There is no standard demographic type for a scammer and you are just as likely to be defrauded by anyone with a malicious streak. Moreover it can be used against you if you find yourself trusting New Zealand accents over others.

Hope that helps.

Kind regards,
Hadyn - Consumer NZ staff

Heather B.
01 Dec 2018
Are they for Real

I have Googled the suspected scam and find that comes up with confirmation of the scams.

Valerie E.
07 Oct 2017
TradeMe Scam

Recently I have been getting emails supposedly from TradeME advising my order and money has been received.
"If this is not your order please click on the link below."
This is when I have not used TradeMe for months, and no money has gone out of my accounts.
I forwarded the email to TradeMe for their info. Did NOT click on the link, and deleted the email from my system.

Previous member
07 May 2017
yahoo scam

If you google "yahoo support" you will find a number to call in NZ. Call this number and you will be connected directly to a scammer who will try and gain remote access to your computer and sell you expense security software. The first clue to knowing this is a scam is the fact that Yahoo do not offer telephone support.