Home Online Work Kiwis Confronted With An Alarming Rise In Online Identity Theft

Kiwis Confronted With An Alarming Rise In Online Identity Theft

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Newly released data from Netsafe shows incidents of
identity fraud in New Zealand have increased by a shocking
86 per cent over the last financial year, while incidents of
investment fraud have risen by 37 per cent over the same
period.

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With more and more of New Zealanders’ lives
moving online, and more information about us easily
available, scammers are increasingly using social
engineering tactics, like pretending to be other people or
organisations, to trick people in to giving up personal
information, or getting them to perform certain actions that
could harm their personal and financial
reputations.

This Fraud Awareness week Consumer
Protection is urging people to think about the personal
information they share online, and to not suffer in silence
if they become a victim of identity theft.

A lot of
personal information can be found online already says the
New Zealand Police and the information we share can make New
Zealanders targets for scammers.

“Kiwis are trusting
people, and that can make this country appear to be a soft
target to overseas scammers,” says Detective Senior
Sergeant Greg Dalziel, NZ Police Cybercrime
Unit.

“It is important that people think about how
much personal information they share online and who they are
sharing it with. If you control the amount of information
you release, you can reduce the chance of someone stealing
your identity.”

This is doubly important with
Christmas approaching and as COVID 19 restrictions see
people at home and online more.

Netsafe suggests there
are a few key pieces of advice that can help protect people
engaging online.

“Scammers are criminals who work
around the clock to invent webpages, adverts and emails with
the same objective in mind, and that is to rip people off
and potentially steal their private details,” says Martin
Cocker, Chief Executive Officer of Netsafe.

“People
contacting you out of the blue asking to verify account
details, or telling you that there is a problem with your
phone or internet services are possible signs of potential
fraud. When in doubt about the identity of someone saying
they are from a particular business and asking for your
information, it’s a good idea to hang up and call the
business back directly,” says Mr Cocker.

Reporting
these scams is an important tool in the fight to protect
others and thwart scammers, says MBIE Consumer Protection
National Manager Simon Gallagher.

“While it is
natural to feel some hurt or shame in falling prey to online
scammers, it’s important to remember that these are
sophisticated systems designed to build your trust. One of
the best tools we have to combat them is people reporting it
when they happen, to the financial provider, agency, or
business, and to the police.”

Consumer Protection
and the agencies it works with are encouraging people to be
aware of what types of scams to look out for, how to avoid
them and how to take action.

Visit the Fraud Awareness
Week 2021 page to find out the steps to take and who to
reach for help.

https://www.consumerprotection.govt.nz/general-help/scamwatch/fraud-awareness-week-2021

 

Notes
to the editor
:

Fraud Awareness Week, 14-20
November 2021 is a cross-government initiative co-ordinated
through the Interagency Fraud Working Group that
includes:

• Netsafe


Department of Internal Affairs

• Financial Markets
Authority

• Banking
Ombudsman

• CERT
NZ
• Commerce
Commission
• Commission for Financial
Capability
• Department of Prime
Ministers and Cabinet
• Commercial Banks
– BNZ/ANZ/ASB
• NZ
Police
• New Zealand Telecommunications
Forum (TCF)
• Serious Fraud
Office

© Scoop Media

 



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