Today marks the start of Australiasian Consumer Fraud Week, and Paul Goldsmith, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, is encouraging New Zealanders to be ‘smarter with their data’ when sharing personal information online.
According to Goldsmith, “Last year alone, Kiwi’s lost an estimated $8 million to scams, and more than 8,100 incidents were reported to NetSafe.
“The focus of this week is on the importance of protecting your personal information to prevent identity theft.”
Australasian Consumer Fraud Week is run in conjunction with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and the Commerce Commission.
It aims raise awareness about the importance of keeping personal information secure to ensure scammers can’t use it for fraudulent purposes.
Consumer Fraud Week follows the recent Privacy Awareness Week, which focused on the importance of keeping private information secure in this data-heavy digital age, says Goldsmith.
“There are some simple things we can all do to protect ourselves.
“These include keeping our personal details secure, thinking twice about what we say and do in an online environment, keeping our mobile devices and computers secure, choosing our passwords carefully, and being aware of any requests for personal details or money,” says Goldsmith.
“It can be difficult to stay one step ahead of scammers but there are ways you can try and protect yourself as much as possible.
“Be aware of the common scams and get in touch with Scamwatch if you or someone you know may have been scammed,” he says.