Scams online increased sharply as New Zealanders spent
more time on the internet. This Fraud Awareness Week (14 –
20 November), the Ministry of Business, Innovation and
Employment’s (MBIE) Consumer Protection team is urging
people to protect one another by talking about scams,
sharing stories and reporting scams when they see
them.

Online scams and fraud cost people $4.5 million
in 2020/21 financial year, according to CERT NZ. More than
one in five reports (22 per cent) responded to by CERT NZ in
the year to 30 June 2021 were scams and frauds. The majority
of these were fraudulent online sales, but also included
relationship fraud.

MBIE Consumer Protection National
Manager Simon Gallagher says more people being online due to
COVID-19 and lockdowns has provided cyber criminals with an
opportunity to groom, defraud and exploit with more
sophisticated scams, which are becoming harder to spot.
Consumers are more vulnerable and more at risk than ever
before.”

“By working together and reporting scams,
people can help others to avoid being
scammed.”

“While it is natural to feel some hurt
or shame in falling prey to online scammers, it’s
important to remember that these are sophisticated systems
designed to build your trust. One of the best tools we have
to combat them is people reporting them when they happen, to
the financial…

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