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Types of scams and fraud

Learn about different types of scams and fraud, including phishing, card fraud and identity theft, so you can keep yourself safe. 

Scams

Anyone can fall victim to a scam. Scammers are clever, they target people of any gender or age, and it doesn’t matter how much money you have. It’s important to stay up-to-date with the types of scams and how scammers can target you.

See latest scams 

Fraudulent transaction scam

You receive an automated call saying it’s from your bank or credit card provider’s fraud team. You’re asked for personal details or to provide remote access to your mobile, device or computer.

Catch the hackers scam

A caller tells you that your computer has been hacked and they need your help to catch the hackers. They ask you to send money overseas or to download an application that will give them remote access your mobile, device or computer.

Computer technical support scam

A caller tells you they’re from a well-known company and that you have a problem with your computer or internet connection. They ask you to download an application that will give them remote access to your mobile, device or computer. 

Email or text message phishing scams

You receive an email or text message saying it’s from a bank and that your account has been suspended for security reasons. It asks you to click on a link to verify that it’s you, so they can reinstate access.

Fake invoice scam

You receive an invoice for a product or service that you haven’t requested or received. Or, a business’s email is hacked and the bank account number on outgoing invoices is changed.

Investment scam

You receive a call or email from someone saying they have a top secret or limited investment opportunity for you.

Romance scam

You begin exchanging emails or messages with someone you met online, and a romantic relationship develops. The person plays on emotional triggers to manipulate you into providing money, gifts or other items like iTunes cards. 

Government grant scam

Someone calls you saying they’re from the government and that you’re eligible for a government grant for being a good citizen or paying your tax on time. Or, they might call saying you have to pay tax or a fee for tax avoidance, or some kind of fine.

Visa scam

You receive an automated phone message that says you are in trouble with your home embassy or consulate and need to pay a fee to avoid breaching immigration and visa conditions.

Lottery or travel scam

You receive a message saying you’ve won a prize from a travel competition or lottery that you haven’t entered. However, to claim the prize you need to pay a fee to cover tax or other costs.

Card fraud

Card fraud can involve either the use of your physical credit, Visa Debit or EFTPOS card or just your card details, like your card number, PIN or CVV number.

Examples of card fraud:

  • Someone finds your lost card or steals your card from you and uses it. Or, your new card is intercepted in the mail and used.
  • Your card data is captured using an ATM skimming device and copied onto a new card.
  • You share your card details online or over the phone and the details are misused.
  • You use your card to shop online and that company later suffers a data breach.  

Identity theft

If someone obtains your personal information, they can use it to pretend to be you. They could get credit in your name, access your funds and even open bank accounts, all without your authorisation.

Your personal information can be taken in a number of ways:

  • Tricking you into sharing the information, usually by saying they are from a trusted organisation like your bank, a government agency or the Police.
  • Intercepting your mail.
  • Going through your rubbish or recycling to find documents.
  • Through phishing scams, such as an email or text message that asks for your personal or banking details.

Find out how to protect yourself

Protect yourself from fraud 

Information and education resources

CERT NZ

CERT NZ is a government agency working to improve cyber security in New Zealand. Report cyber security incidents (banking and non-banking) to CERT NZ, they can help you resolve it.

Netsafe

Netsafe is an independent, non-profit online safety organisation. They provide practical tools, support and advice for keeping safe online, including advice and information about online scams.

Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC)

CFFC is a government organisation helping people to get ahead financially. They offer a variety of information and educational material about how to avoid frauds and scams.

Financial Markets Authority (FMA)

The FMA is a government agency responsible for regulating New Zealand’s financial markets. They provide warnings and alerts about businesses or individuals you should be cautious of, and illegal investment schemes. You can also report investment fraud incidents.