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Aged between 35-44? You're a prime target for scammers

28 Aug 2019
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If you’re aged between 35-44, you are the prime targets for scammers of all types, according to research from Bank of New Zealand and my2cents.

It’s a common thought that the elderly are most likely to get scammed, but BNZ says it’s also busy parents who are finding themselves on the receiving end too.

BNZ research found that those aged between 35-44 are just as likely to have lost money to a scam as the elderly. The 35-44 age group is specifically at risk of losing money when buying, selling or donating goods or services online and inheritance scams.

“Scammers are increasingly sophisticated and manipulative. They prey on our desire for convenience, the time-poor and those whose attention is pulled in several directions,” says Bank of New Zealand (BNZ)’s head of financial crime Ashley Kai Fong.

“Scammers are selling fake tickets and subscriptions, giving away grants and prizes, mimicking the taxman and invoicing departments of businesses we use for products and services. In some instances they are even imitating colleagues and friends.”

And if you do happen to get scammed, you could be one of the 15% of Kiwis who are so embarrassed that you don’t tell anybody, or the 58% who don’t report the crime.

Kai Fong says there’s a tidal wave of scammers hitting New Zealanders at the moment, to the point where Kiwis are “drowning and not putting their hand up for help”.

“It’s worrying that the fear of being scammed is stopping New Zealanders going online. Cutting yourself off from the digital world can do more harm than good as we know being connected to family and friends is important to people’s overall wellbeing.”

BNZ says that of the 81% of Kiwis that had been the target of a scam, the top five scams were:

1. Fake lottery, prize or grant scam

2. Tech scam phone calls (no computer access)

3. Nigerian letter fraud

4. Scams masquerading as government services or departments

5. Inheritance scam

BNZ is one of several New Zealand organisations doing its best to raise awareness about scams. This week BNZ is running Scam Savvy sessions in branches, partner centres, malls, and local communities between 9am and 5pm.

The sessions guide people through the types of scams that typically target New Zealanders. The sessions then show people what to look for and what to do if they are scammed.

Those in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, and Christchurch can also head along to the following places:

•  Auckland: Albany Westfield, Manukau Westfield, St Lukes Westfield, Sylvia Park

• Hamilton: Chartwell Westfield

• Wellington: Queensgate Mall, Johnsonville Mall, North City Plaza

• Christchurch: Riccarton Westfield