The amount of money lost by kiwis to online scammers in the last year is in excess of $750,000 – and that’s just what people are admitting to.
The figure comes from the Online Reporting Button (ORB) website run by internet security NPO NetSafe.
Nearly 1700 online incidents have been reported to the website, launched in August 2010 and run in partnership with NZ Police, Customs, the Commerce Commission, Internal Affairs, the Privacy Commissioner and the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
Martin Cocker, executive director of NetSafe, says the ORB figures represent just the tip of the iceberg.
"A Statistics New Zealand survey from 2009 put the number of individual victims of internet fraud at 56,000,” Cocker says.
"That would suggest current reporting represents only a fraction of overall incidents.”
Although over 60% of cases were classic phishing and advanced fee frauds, the largest individual losses came from romance scams, which can take months to perpetrate.
22% of reports to the website were made anonymously.