Fraud Awareness Week - a timely reminder of finance scams

16 November 2017.

The Reserve Bank says that International Fraud Awareness Week is a good reminder of what to do if you’re the target of a finance scam.

"The Bank receives regular inquiries from the public about financial scams. Generally, these calls are from unsuspecting people who ring us to find out if a document or letter they have received is legitimate. They want to know what to do about it and are ringing us for advice,” says spokesperson Angus Barclay.

“The first thing we say to them is: ‘Don’t send them any money’, and then secondly, we advise them to contact the Police if they think they are the target of a scam or are the victim of fraud.

"The most common inquiry we get is when people receive a letter from an international bank claiming that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand has their money frozen in a fund, which requires payment by them to unlock the proposed money sitting in their name. It has been going on for years and people continue to lose money. It’s important to know that the Reserve Bank doesn’t hold or process money for individuals and will not request payment from individuals by email.

“In recent weeks we’ve even seen fraudsters replicating our letterhead. If you suspect you are a victim of fraud, or question the legitimacy of some correspondence, don’t send any money but report it straight to the Police.”

Fraud Awareness Week is a weeklong cross-government initiative aimed to get people talking about scams. It runs until Saturday 18 November.