‘Take a sec to check’ say banks in scam awareness campaign

Banks are asking people to ‘take a sec to check’ before they part with their money or personal information, in a campaign aimed at raising scam awareness over summer.

“We’re encouraging everyone to take a moment before making a payment or giving away personal information, just to be sure it’s not a scam,” says New Zealand Bankers’ Association chief executive Roger Beaumont.

“Scams are a form of financial crime. They are constantly evolving and increasingly sophisticated. Scams tend to involve criminals pretending to be a trusted person or organisation who then persuade people to make payments to them or hand over personal information to access their bank accounts.

“We know there’s no silver bullet when it comes to fighting financial crime. We also know it pays to be alert, know what to look out for, and how to deal with it. If you take a sec, you might save yourself from being scammed.

“Tomorrow we’re launching a campaign to help raise awareness about scams. We’re using radio ads, street posters and social media to get the message out.

“We’re running this campaign over the summer break when people are more relaxed and might take a moment to think about scams and how to keep themselves safe.

Tips to help you stay safe:

Stay alert

Be alert to texts or emails. Never click on links in unsolicited emails or text messages. Report and delete suspicious messages.

Be wary of cold calls asking for personal details or money. If an unexpected phone call seems suspicious, hang up and call the business back using its publicly available phone number.

Keep up to date with the latest scams to help recognise the warning signs.

Be proactive

Use unique, long passwords and change these regularly. Keep all passwords and security codes secure – don’t disclose these to anyone.

Never give a stranger remote access to your computer or device.

Safeguard your devices by keeping operating systems and apps up to date.

Take your time

If someone is pressuring you to do something, it may be a sign they’re trying to scam you. Take your time and check out who you’re dealing with before providing your details or sending any money.

Report it

Report any suspected scams to your bank.

For more information about scams, see: https://www.nzba.org.nz/banking-information/fighting-financial-crime/scams/.