Don’t get phished, vished or smished

The New Zealand Bankers’ Association is encouraging people to protect their personal information as Australasian Consumer Fraud Week kicks off today.

“Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to scam us and steal our money. Scammers use a range of ways to trick people into handing over personal information, usually by phone or email. Once they have that information, such as your account number, log-in details, or password, they can access your identity and your money. This kind of fraud is known as ‘phishing’ if the fraudster makes contact by email, ‘vishing’ if it’s by phone, or ‘smishing’ if it’s by text,” said New Zealand Bankers’ Association chief executive Kirk Hope.

“Your bank will never ask you for your PINs and passwords. Anyone who asks for these will in all likelihood be trying to scam you.

“Scammers often pretend to be your bank, a government agent, a retailer or someone you trust.”

How to avoid these scams:

  • Don’t give out account details over the phone unless you made the call and you trust that the number you called is genuine.
  • Don’t reply to, click on any links, or open any files in spam emails. Don’t call any numbers in spam emails.

Spam emails are often disguised to look legitimate. If it doesn’t seem right, take care and double check first before handing over personal information. It’s always a good idea to check the email address against one you know to be legitimate.

“If you are the genuine victim of fraud it’s good to know that your bank will stand by you and reimburse any losses. That promise doesn’t override your responsibility to protect access to your bank accounts,” Hope added.