Get scam wise – New Zealand Bankers’ Association

The New Zealand Bankers’ Association has issued a seven point list to combat online banking fraud as Fraud Awareness Week 2012 kicks off.

“Public vigilance is crucial in the fight against financial cyber crime. Customers have an important role to play to protect themselves and their money,” said New Zealand Bankers’ Association acting chief executive Martin Philipsen.

The seven tips for the public to avoid online scams are:

  • Do not give your PIN or internet banking username or password to anyone.
  • Keep your anti-virus and firewall software up to date.
  • Logon to internet banking by typing in your bank’s full web address. Do not use links that appear to take you to your bank’s website.
  • Check you have a secure connection, which is shown by a padlock symbol somewhere on the page, and that the website address starts with ‘https://’. The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’.
  • Do not use public computers for internet banking, e.g. internet cafes, libraries or hotels.
  • Protect your identity information and only provide it to trusted people and organisations. This includes your date of birth, address, driver’s licence number and passport details.
  • If you suspect you’ve been taken in by a scam, contact your bank immediately.

“Online fraud to watch out for includes hoax emails purporting to be from your bank and asking you to update your personal information such as PINs and logon details. Your bank will never ask you for this confidential information,” said Philipsen.

“Customers should also be aware of websites that ask for personal banking details. These can redirect you to a replica of your bank’s website, which is designed to steal personal information.”

Online customer security is a major priority for banks. New Zealand banks work hard to prevent their customers from becoming victims of any kind of financial crime. “Banks take care to protect bank accounts from misuse and fraud. For example, bank systems can detect unusual spending patterns and prevent attempts by fraudsters to access accounts,” said Philipsen.

The Code of Banking Practice, which applies to all New Zealand Bankers’ Association members, protects customers in case of genuine fraud. Customers are not liable for losses resulting from unauthorised transactions where it is clear they have not contributed to the loss.

Internet scams are the focus of this year’s Fraud Awareness Week campaign, which is co-ordinated by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.

More information about online banking security awareness is available here. Ministry of Consumer Affairs advice can be found here.