Protect yourself from scammers

Scammers continue to keep hitting the phones; including to ‘fix’ computers. It seems that scammers have been letting their fingers do the talking of late. There has been increasing numbers of reports of telephone scams here in New Zealand and also in the UK and in Australia.

Consumers can stop themselves being scammed by never disclosing any personal details or financial details to these callers. In particular, people should be aware of:

Callers advising that the person’s computer is infected with a virus and requesting credit card details to fix the problem.

taxes-tax-evasion-police-handcuffsCallers offering products, services or cash under fake government grants.

Callers seeking bank details in order to process a bank fee refund or tax refund.

Callers offering to place the person’s number on the Do Not Call Register for a fee.

Recorded messages asking consumers to “dial 9” for a ‘free’ holiday. 
Protect yourself

Be cautious – if you get an unsolicited call and the caller requests personal information, it may be a scam. Hang up and verify who they are by independently finding their contact details from a trustworthy source such as a phone book and contacting them directly. Protect your personal information and financial details – don’t provide your details to anyone who has contacted you out of the blue who you don’t know and trust. Even if they claim to be from a reputable company or Government department it may still be a scam.

If you get a cold call from someone claiming you are entitled to a refund, have won a holiday or have a virus on your computer, hang up immediately.

We like to believe the best of people. We like to help, and by nature, most people are trusting. Sadly there are more scammers than ever at work. If you receive any of the following calls, hang up – they are most likely to be a scam and could cost you a lot of money.

Scammers call under a number of pretexts; including to ‘fix’ computers. They will call and say that your computer has been infected with a virus, and all that is needed to fix is is your credit card details. THIS IS A SCAM.

Calls offering products, services of cash under fake Government grants ARE SCAMS.

Calls to offer you tax refunds or bank fee refunds ARE SCAMS.

Any call to offer, for a fee, to remove you from mailing lists or telemarketing lists ARE A SCAM.

Any calls offering free holidays etc ARE SCAMS.

It is also unadvisable to give your credit card details to charities set up outside supermarkets etc. If they don’t accept a cash donation, THEY ARE TRYING TO SCAM YOU.

Never disclose your bank or credit cards details to unknown sources. Just because they ‘sound nice’ on the phone, does not mean you should trust them. Your bank already has your details, they will not call you to confirm them. THIS IS A SCAM.

Contact your bank immediately if you think you have provided your details to a scammer. It is better to be safe than sorry.