Beat the scammers - Fraud Awareness Week 2010
A word of advice about avoiding scams.
There’s no chance you’d ever fall for a scam, right? Wrong. No one thinks that they will ever get caught out by a scam. But that’s not the case. Many New Zealand adults have been scammed or tricked out of money at some point.
Scammers may not have psychology degrees but they do know how you think. They know you will feel sorry for people affected by natural disasters and want to donate money. They know you will build up trust with someone you meet on the internet. They know that easy money will tempt you. They know how to push your buttons so you will do what they ask.
And if you have fallen for a scam and sent money overseas there’s not a great deal you can do about it. The scammer won’t be waiting around to see if you want a refund. They won’t offer to send your money back. They will either ask for more money or disappear completely.
Sounding the alarm bells
Recent research commissioned by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs revealed that 15% of New Zealand adults have been scammed or tricked out of money at some point. So it’s important you know how to protect yourself from falling for a scam to start off with.
The best way to do this is to learn more about what a scam looks like and how they work. If you know what the scammers are plotting then you won’t fall for it.
Scams change and morph all the time so there’s not a great deal of good in knowing the name of a scam or the exact wording of a scam as these details are easy for a scammer to change. It doesn’t matter what lottery a scammer pretends you have won, if you haven’t entered then it isn’t genuine! If you can recognise the hallmarks of a scam there’s a good chance you won’t fall for it.
Fraud Awareness Week 2010
This week is Fraud Awareness Week 2010 [link] when a range of private, public and community sector agencies work together to get scam prevention messages out. You can do your bit by talking to friends and family about scams and visiting the Scamwatch website [link] where you can report a scam and find out more information about scams, like how they work and how to avoid them.
You can also help teach your friends and family about scams by sending them a fun fake scam. Internet safety group NetSafe have developed the Scam Machine [external website] [link] which personalises a fictitious scam news video to the recipient. Fill in the details of one of your nearest and dearest. They will have a laugh and at the same time learn what to look for in a scam and how to protect themselves.