Supplied Content (Edited)
Auckland, July 22, 2019
Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) is keen to help New Zealanders become Scam Savvy and for the week of August 26, it will encourage people visit its branches and special locations in malls to learn how to be safer online and avoid being scammed.
BNZ Chief Executive Angie Mentis said that Scammers have moved from marriage proposals and money transfers.
Millions lost to fraudsters
“They are selling fake tickets and subscriptions and mimicking colleagues and friends. They look and feel like the organisations with which many of interact each day, but there are tell-tale giveaways to which we want all Kiwis to be clued-up,” she said.
“We want the digital world to feel like a safe space for people no matter what they are doing. Giving Kiwis the confidence to identify and deal with scams will improve their online experience, reduce harm and benefit us all,” she said.
Ms Mentis said that Kiwis are losing millions annually to scams, but the financial loss is just the tip of the iceberg.
Scams affect people’s relationships, confidence, security and privacy, she said.
Opportunistic and widespread
Ms Mentis said that Scams are opportunistic, they target our empathy for others, sometimes fear and loneliness and our familiarity with frequently visited sites.
“They are not confined to one demographic, we are all vulnerable. We want New Zealanders armed with the tools they need to recognise and avoid a scam,” she said.
During ‘Scam Savvy Week,’ BNZ branches and Partner Centres will host Scam Savvy sessions and staff Scam Savvy Schools in malls, libraries, high schools and universities.
The sessions will guide people through the types of scams that typically target New Zealanders via email or over the phone, and show them what to look for and what to do if you are scammed, and when and where it is ok to provide personal data.
“We want New Zealanders to know that their bank or any legitimate organisation will never contact you out of the blue and ask for your password. But, the increasing sophistication of the scams demands a deeper level of awareness and understanding, and this is what Scam Savvy week is all about,” Ms Mentis said.
She said that most BNZ customers are online, conducting day-to-day banking through BNZ App and Website. Their transactions are mostly digital and hence the relevance of the Scam Savvy tool.
Hosting Scam Savvy sessions throughout our extensive branch network in the last week of August will give people the opportunity to speak to a knowledgeable BNZ person and ask questions, Ms Mentis said.
“I encourage every New Zealander to use BNZ’s ‘Scam Savvy Week’ as an opportunity to school-up on scams and avoid becoming a victim of financial fraud,” she said.
While this week in August will help shine a spotlight on scamming and the damage it is inflicting on unsuspecting Kiwis, anyone can access BNZ’s Scam Savvy tools at https://www.getscamsavvy.co.nz/.
Scam Savvy week is part of BNZ’s Great Things programme to help improve financial wellbeing of New Zealand which includes growing digital skills, sharing financial know-how and the well-known apps Penny the Penguin and My Moni that help children and teenagers make good choices.