Police are warning members of the public to be aware of a phone scam that is currently targeting New Zealanders.
In recent weeks Police have received a number of reports from people who have been scammed out of significant amounts of money, after being contacted by someone claiming to work for Spark.
The scammers say they need to speak to them regarding issues with their Spark account or computer.
In the Tasman area, three elderly residents have been scammed out of a total of $120,000.
Enquiries into the scams have discovered that in some of these cases the funds have been deposited into Australian bank accounts.
“Spark will never call customers out of the blue to ask for personal details like bank account, credit card, or internet banking details. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from Spark who asks for your personal information, end the call immediately” says Bridgette Dalzell, Spark’s General Manager of Care.
If you believe you may be on the receiving end of one of these calls, Police advise the following:
- Hang up immediately.
- If it doesn't seem right, be cautious, double-check details first.
- Look after your personal details in the same way you would your wallet and other possessions. Your personal details are very valuable to scammers, they will use your details to take out loans or run up debts if they can.
- Be aware of common scams. For example, banks, Immigration New Zealand or Inland Revenue never email, call or text customers to ask for money to be sent using money transfer services. If you receive a request like that, it's a scam.
- Don’t trust anyone who calls you and asks for your financial related information, such as your account details and password. Simply hang up, call them on their published contact 0800 number or arrange a meeting at the relevant agency branch.
If you have been targeted by a scam, report it immediately by visiting Consumer Protection's Scamwatch website at www.consumerprotection.govt.nz/get-guidance/scams-and-online-safety/scams.
Issued by Police Media Centre
Spark will be adding a note to its customers’ March bill warning them about these scams. More information from them is available online at: http://www.spark.co.nz/phonescamwarning