Police warn of phone scam

File Photo.

Police are asking people to be wary of a telephone scam in which the caller claims to work for the NZ Police and Spark NZ.

Ironically, the caller claims to be targeting internet fraud.

Acting Senior Sergeant Beth Purcell says the victim is asked to purchase multiple iTunes cards at their own expense, and provide the numbers to the scam artist, who then redeems the gift cards and breaks contact with the victim, while maintaining remote access to the victim’s computer.

“This is a variation on previous scams seen by Police, where the scammer claims to be from a widely recognised organisation in order to gain the victim’s trust.

“These scams run constantly and while most people will not respond or buy into them, some people are more vulnerable.

“We urge people to have conversations with vulnerable or elderly family members. To help ensure they are aware of the tactics often used by scammers and don’t become victims.

“Business owners who note customers buying multiple gift cards of high monetary value should check they are not being pressured or duped into purchasing such large amounts.”

Police’s message on scams like this is simple – do not engage with anyone on the phone if you think you are being scammed – hang up immediately and report the incident.

If you are in doubt as to a caller’s legitimacy, ask if you can call them back, or just hang up.

Regardless of whether you have lost any money, if you have installed a programme allowing remote access to your computer, we recommend you seek assistance to ensure it is safely removed.

Information on other scams that are currently operating can be found on the Consumer Protection NZ website: https://www.consumerprotection.govt.nz/general-help/scamwatch

Consumer Protection NZ, along with Netsafe, also provides helpful advice and information about keeping safe online.

Anyone who believes they are a victim of a scam, in person, over the phone or online, should immediately report it to their bank, and then to their local Police.

1 Comment

Phone scams can be avoided....

Posted on 30-01-2019 13:05 | By GreertonBoy

If you ask the person to tell you YOUR name and address... any legitimate company contacting you will ask for you by name and know your details. Scammers will only be talking blind to whoever answers the phone. Another good way to avoid scams is to ask for THEIR company name, address, phone number and the callers employee number, say you will call them back. When they hang up immediately, shows they were scammers. No legit company will ask you to purchase itunes vouchers (nor anything else). My favorite thing is to ask them to hold for a minute... I put down the phone, then carry on with what I was doing and check back to see when they have hung up. At least it has wasted some of their time, and hopefully cost them something for their phone call

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