Twigs and snippets

How to Spot a Scam

It has become more and more common for New Zealanders to be phoned by scammers offering what can seem like very convincing advice, products or services. We regularly have customers ringing up concerned and have had to resolve many insidious messes on computers – the consequence of being the victim of a scam!

What form do they take?

Their attempts to convince are compelling as often they are well researched and have prepared by sourcing local knowledge and phone numbers. They will often make comments on the weather or local events. They may have gained quite specific information about you through public or stolen data. In many cases they claim to be from reputable organizations and government agencies, possibly offering refunds, payments etc. A particularly common one at the moment is scammers pretending they are computer technicians.

What are they after?

They are out to defraud you, to gain information to defraud you later or gain information that will enable them to defraud people associated with you.

What to do if they call you

If they say they are from an agency or service that you do work with, hang up and call that agency back direct. Do not call back on the number the potential scammer gives you as they can easily access local numbers attempting to look New Zealand based. If you are late to realize it is a scam and have already given out information and access, hang up immediately, turn your device right off and then call Sticks to check that nothing malicious has happened, that fire walls are still intact and that the computer has not been compromised in any way.

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