In the past year, New Zealanders lost nearly $200 million to scams, as reported by 11 major financial institutions. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment disclosed this during Fraud Awareness Week, stressing consumer vigilance against investment scams.
Ian Caplin, the MBIE spokesperson for Fraud Awareness Week, warned that scammers target individuals nationwide, especially those with savings or investments seeking extra returns. Caplin emphasized that legitimate investments don’t appear out of nowhere, cautioning against unsolicited investment offers via email or cold calls, as these methods are illegal for selling financial products in New Zealand.
Caplin advised investors to verify documents and payment instructions directly through official websites. The FMA website offers additional details, warnings, and real-life scam examples. In case of a suspected scam, individuals were urged to cease contact, avoid further payments, and promptly inform their bank. Caplin encouraged reporting scams to the FMA and CERT NZ to prevent others from falling victim.
Major banks in New Zealand, contributed data for the study covering the year up to September 2023.
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