New Zealand Police Crime Prevention Manager, Superintendent Bruce Bird says Fraud Awareness Week's focus on scams that target older people is a timely reminder for people to be vigilant in protecting themselves.
People shouldn't become paranoid about scammers, but they do need to realise that they can be vulnerable if they don't take some basic precautions.
If something sounds too good to be true it usually is. Don't respond to letters or emails saying you have won the lottery - you haven't. This is always a scam and they will always want money from you that you won't see again.
Don't give out personal information such as credit card numbers to anyone unless you know you are dealing with a secure, trusted online retailer.
Never give your PIN to anyone. No reputable bank or financial organisation will ever ask you for your PIN.
It is not a crime to hang up on or close your door to someone you know is trying to scam you. Often you need to be blunt in order to get them off the phone or off your property.
If you are offered a deal or you are interested in investing in then you need to spend some time researching it to make sure it is genuine before you commit.
Talk to people you can trust about anything you are not sure about before you part with your money. Trusted friends and family are a good start, or if it is an investment opportunity a qualified financial expert. This may involve a fee, but it is better to have done this than invest in a scam.
Don't get pressured into making a decision. If someone is offering you a genuine deal then they will expect you to check it out first. If they start pressuring you to part with your money immediately then alarm bells should start ringing.