FMA warns against fraudulent online schemes

Financial Monetary Authority General Counsel Liam Wilson (INL File Photo)

Wellington, September 16, 2021
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The Financial Monetary Authority (FMA) has cautioned against an increasing number of scams and advised New Zealanders to be aware of various fraudulent schemes, mostly online.

General Counsel Liam Mason named three scams that have been on the rise since the advent of Covid-19 about 20 months ago.

He said that the complaints about investment scams lodged with FMA rose by 79% during the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2020.

Three types of scams

From January to June 2021, the Authority received 158 complaints about investment scams and fraud up 79% on the 88 complaints received during the same period in 2020, when the pandemic began, and up 49% on the 106 complaints in the first half of 2019, he said.

The FMA issued 36 public warnings on suspected scams and other non-compliant entities during the first six months of this year, accounting for an increase of 29% and 80% compared respectively to 2020 and 2019 (28 and 20 warnings).

According to Mr Mason, three types of scams have been on the rise as follows:

Social Media Scams: Scammers using social media platforms to identify and/or make contact with possible victims – friending and messaging them, asking questions or making suggestions in post comments, conducting fake surveys.

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