Around 30% of New Zealanders have received calls from scammers running
a computer-based con – and around one in 20 are falling for it, according to
the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
Jarred Rendle, representative of the Ministry’s Scamwatch
programme, says the scammers call their victims claiming to work for Microsoft,
then say a virus has been detected on the person’s computer.
"Our reports show one in 20
recipients are falling for this scam,” Rendle says, "losing an average of $200
"Based on the New Zealand population, up to $10 million could have
been swindled out of unsuspecting kiwis.
NetSafe places the number of victims higher, at around one in
Martin Cocker, NetSafe executive director, says the scammers can
spend up to several hours persuading victims their machines need cleaning or
"We hear about people being called multiple times and quite
aggressive tactics being used.”
NetSafe invites consumers to report scammers here; however, Rendle's advice is simply to tell people.
"Tell everyone you know
about this scam. Share it with your friends, tweet it, write a letter to your
grandparents. However you do it, spread the word, so New Zealand can, as a
country, tell these scammers that we’ve had enough and we’re not falling for