Nigerian scammers target New Zealand online job seekers
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Customs is warning job seekers about a Nigerian scam targeting New Zealanders applying for jobs online. This follows the interception of counterfeit bank cheques destined for a New Zealand “Agent” unwittingly recruited through their response to an online job advert.
“It appears the intended recipients were instructed to cash the cheques at a bank, retain a small proportion of the money, and send the balance offshore. Fortunately the scam was discovered at an early stage and no financial victims have been identified,” says Customs Investigations Manager Shane Panettier.
This scam could have a particularly serious outcome for its victims. Recent amendments to the Customs and Excise Act 1996 have increased Customs ability to intercept items designed to facilitate dishonesty offences. Penalties for knowingly importing goods of this kind may include a maximum $10,000 fine or up to 6 months imprisonment.