Anti-scam centre to be established to capture scams and frauds

Association gives tips on how to identify scams

Anti-scam centre to be established to capture scams and frauds

Work is in progress to establish a national anti-scam centre to fight frauds and scams targeting New Zealanders, a news release has revealed.

The New Zealand Banking Association (NZBA) said banks are often involved in a chain of events that make up a scam, noting an approach that involves multiple sectors could improve the protection of customers against scams.

“The first phase of work is now live and is focused on sharing additional information to help identify and reduce fraudulent payments to mule accounts. Banks were already sharing some information on money mules, but the new phase of work will increase the speed and amount of information being shared,” said Roger Beaumont (pictured), chief executive of the NZBA.

“It’s been really positive to see the effort our banks have put into this, with some very smart and talented financial crime, legal, privacy and technology experts working together to tackle this issue. We are committed to further progressing this work with support from other agencies by mid next year.”

Increase awareness and scrutinise information

According to the news release, a money mule is a person or a company used by criminals to illegally transfer money obtained on their behalf - money mules are a growing issue in the country. NZAB said some initiatives to address these issues are progressing strongly, including removing web links from texts and introducing a “confirmation of payee” account name checking service. The association has also reminded New Zealanders to be vigilant and help raise public awareness.

“Raising public awareness about scams and how to avoid them is also a priority for us. Our banks already provide scam information and tips to their customers through a variety of channels, including TV advertising, social media, and on their websites,” said Beaumont. “To complement that we’ll be re-running our ‘Take a Sec to Check’ radio campaign over the summer holidays. We’ll be encouraging everyone to ‘take a sec’ before making a payment or giving away personal information, just to be sure it’s not a scam.”

NZAB has advised on how to keep safe from scams:

  • Urgency is a red flag – scammers will rush you. If it feels wrong, it probably is.
  • Your bank will never ask for passwords, log-in details, or two factor authentication codes. They also wouldn’t send you an email or text message asking you to log in.
  • Don’t click on links or open attachments from people you don’t know, or that seem out of character for someone you do know. Hover over links to reveal the actual site.
  • Don’t respond to instructions to download unknown software – it could be malware to access your accounts.
  • Be careful of deals or investments that sound too good to be true – they probably are.

For more tips on how to identify scams, visit

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