BNZ customer scammed out of $40,000

Customers warned not to share passwords

BNZ customer scammed out of $40,000

Bank customers are constantly reminded to stay vigilant against financial scams.

But one BNZ customer who got scammed out of his savings said banks should put effort into guiding customers away from scams, rather than leaving them in the dark.

Sam Clayton responded to a seemingly simple email from his bank, only to have $41,000 stolen from his BNZ account to a variety of different names and accounts, RNZ reported.

“I logged into my BNZ, and I just saw half of these accounts were just empty,” Clayton said.

The stolen money was from recently selling the family home and included savings from his two-year-old son’s account.

“It seems like these scams are going on quite often, we’re pretty much in a position where we don’t know where to go from here,” he said.

About $15,000 quickly bounced back, but he was still short several thousand dollars.

To make matters worse, Clayton said he had not heard from the bank in more than a month.

“How easy is communication in this day and age?” he said.

But because Clayton gave the code to the fraudsters, which gave them access to his account, BNZ said it was unable to return a large part of his stolen money.

Cliff Joiner, BNZ corporate affairs manager, told RNZ that it was impossible to get the money back in these instances. Joiner said the bank would never ask for customers’ passwords nor text or email customers with a link asking them to click to log in.

Jordan Heersping, cybersecurity agency CERT NZ’s incidence response manager, said sending a hyperlink was a common tactic used by scammers.

“Most cyberattacks these days are financially motivated, and we’ll see lots of scam and phishing attacks that are focussed on getting into people’s bank accounts and taking control of their finances,” Heersping said.

There were several ways, however, how people could protect themselves and their money, including using strong passwords, not giving these passwords to anyone they did not trust completely, and setting up valid two-factor authentication for all accounts.

In related news, the Bankers Association has rolled out a “take a sec to check” campaign, to warn people on how to prevent getting scammed online, RNZ reported.

Use the comment section below to tell us how you feel about Clayton’s experience.