Welcome to Scam Academy

Scammers often use calls, texts, emails and fake websites to trick people into sending money, giving them personal and banking information, or access to their devices.

We're putting Kiwis on patrol

Scammers are making off with $200 million from Kiwis each year. In response, we’ve teamed up with Age Concern NZ to bring back Officer Frank ‘Ponch’ Poncherello and Officer Jon Baker from the hit 80s TV show CHiPs, to encourage Kiwis to be on patrol for scams and fraud.

Report in for your first scam briefing

Watch this quick video to meet the rest of the patrol unit and get the low-down on your scam training.

Transcript information: This video has various scenes from the TV series CHiPs. We haven’t included actors’ lines in this transcript due to the short amount of dialogue used and for clarity of the narration.

[Video: Opening sequence of the 1970s cop show CHiPs. More CHiPs scenes play throughout, with motorcycle police, police chases, helicopters and explosions]

Voiceover: In the year 2024, a new threat has emerged as call, text and email scams target the community. Sometimes new challenges need old heroes, so you have to call in the classics. 

[Video: Two motorcycle police ride along the highway. It zooms in on the California Highway Patrol emblem on one of the motorcycles. Text on screen spells out ‘CHiPs’]

Voiceover: Erik Estrada as Frank 'Ponch' Poncherello.

[Video: Montage of Erik playing Ponch]

Voiceover: Larry Wilcox as Officer Jon Baker.

[Video: Montage of Larry playing Jon]

Voiceover: Back from the streets of LA to make New Zealand more aware. More alert. Bringing old-school justice to modern-day scams. 

[Video: Montage of Ponch and Jon chasing and arresting criminals]

Voiceover: This year, ride along with Ponch and Jon as they help put the nation on patrol. 

[Video: Ponch and Jon ride off on their police motorcycles. A logo shaped like a police badge appears with the text ‘CHiPs Putting NZ on patrol’]

[Text and logos on screen: anz.co.nz/scams Age Concern logo. Supported by ANZ logo. CHiPS and all related characters and elements © & ™ Turner Entertainment Co. (s24)]

Test your knowledge

This programme has been created in partnership with Age Concern to help put you on patrol for scammers when you receive a call, text or email in the future.

Ponch, Jon and the CHiPs state patrol unit will help you answer questions based on real life scam cases. Remember, when it comes to your hard earned money, you can never be too careful.

Case 1. Receiving unsolicited phone calls

We’ve been tipped off about a cold call scam. Suspects are impersonating banks. They’re claiming there’s suspicious activity on your account and recommend you move your money into a new ‘safe account’.

What should you do when you receive unsolicited phone calls?


ANZ will never ask you to move money into a ‘safe account’. Safe accounts are not a legitimate product. 

If you’re ever asked to transfer money into an account that the scammer may claim is in your name, hang up immediately.

Well done… that’s the correct answer

Always contact the organisation on the phone number or other contact methods listed on their website if you’re unsure about a request. It’s okay to say no and hang up. 


If you‘re unsure about the legitimacy of a call, you have the right to say no and hang up. 

You can always call the organisation on their publicly listed number to confirm if the request is legitimate.

Case 2. Receiving emails

Stay on high alert for emails from supposed well-known organisations. Suspects are using links and attachments in emails to drive people to fake websites, where they may ask you to enter personal and banking information. These scam emails can be extremely tricky to spot.

What should you do every time you receive an email?

Well done…that’s the correct answer

You have the right to take your time before acting on any request that asks for your personal or banking details or anything involving money. 


Never click links in unexpected or suspicious texts or emails, especially when there’s a sense of urgency behind it. The scammers may be trying to trick you into acting quickly.

Case 3. Fake dating profiles

Standby for information on fraudsters exploiting people looking for love or friendship. Suspects create fake dating profiles on social media to get close to their targets over time, build their trust, and then ask for money. 

What would you do if you’re asked to lend or give money to someone you met online? (select all that apply)

Well done…that’s a correct answer

It can be a good idea to talk to a friend or family member, often they can see warning signs that you may have overlooked.

Well done...that’s a correct answer

If the person has excuses for not meeting you in person or on a video call (where you can clearly see them on video), cut contact. 

If you feel uneasy or unsure about any requests from an online friend or partner, or your relationship with them, talk to a trusted family member or friend. 


You may be caught up in a romance scam. Never send money or gifts to someone you haven’t met in person.  It’s okay to take your time and be cautious if you receive a request to send money to someone you have met online.

Case 4. Receiving texts from delivery companies

Be on the lookout for fake texts from delivery companies. Suspects are stealing personal information and bank details by asking people to click on links to provide more information to arrange fake deliveries, confirm pickups or pay fees on parcels. 

How can you avoid a parcel delivery scam? (select all that apply)

Well done...that’s a correct answer

It’s better to type in a company URL from scratch rather than click through from a link. 

Remember to use the tracking number that you were provided at the time of purchase, not the one from the text.


Avoid messaging or calling back numbers you don’t recognise. Stay vigilant when anyone contacts you out of the blue with unusual or urgent requests. Use trusted phone numbers instead (for example phone numbers listed on the company’s website).

Well done...that’s a correct answer

These types of scams are usually an attempt to gain personal or banking information. Be on the lookout for texts or emails about parcel deliveries that may request you take further action. 

Case 5. Investment deals

We’ve received multiple reports of investment scams targeting Kiwis. Suspects are making unsolicited contact with time-limited deals that promise impressive returns. 

What should you do if you’re contacted about an investment, or find one online, that seems too good to be true?


Scammers sometimes set up investment comparison websites to get your contact details. So even if you have been actively looking for an investment, you should always research the company, the investment opportunity, and the people behind it. 

Look for information from independent sources, including regulatory agencies, financial analysts and reputable news outlets.

Visit the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) website for warnings and alerts on investment scams.

Warnings and alerts – FMA website

Well done… that’s the correct answer

Take your time to thoroughly look into it. Before making any decisions, consult a licensed financial advisor or investment professional. 

It’s usually a red flag when an unexpected phone call, email, text message or social media chats asks you to invest.


Scammers may lure you in with initial returns to gain your trust. Always search up the business or individual to see if they are listed on the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) website. Also look for information from independent sources, including regulatory agencies, financial analysts, and reputable news outlets.

Financial Markets Authority (FMA) website – fma.govt.nz

Case 6. Friends or relatives in trouble

There’s an elaborate ploy where scammers are posing as loved ones in trouble. These ‘loved ones’ are sending messages from new numbers or social media profiles asking for money.

How can you be sure a message is from a friend or relative?


Scammers may create a sense of urgency around a request to distract you from signs that they may not be who they say they are. 

You have the right to take your time to confirm if it really is your loved one.


Stay vigilant when anyone contacts you out of the blue with unusual or urgent requests. You have the right to ask questions to make sure it’s really them.

Well done…that’s the correct answer

Scammers may impersonate loved ones to get you to act under a sense of urgency. You should always try to contact the person on the number you know is theirs or via their social media profile to double check. 

If you can’t get hold of them, then you should check if they know the secret family code word or something only that person would know.

Age Concern digital literacy programme

If you have older whānau who want to be more confident online, contact your nearest Age Concern to enquire about courses to help with your digital skills or phone 0800 652 105.

Protecting yourself from fraud and scams

Important information

CHiPs characters and elements © & ™ Turner Entertainment Co. (s24)