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Watch: 'This is where it gets a bit crazy' - Kiwis warned about sophisticated scam

Author
Natasha Gordon and Lochlan Lineham, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 13 Jun 2022, 8:47pm

Watch: 'This is where it gets a bit crazy' - Kiwis warned about sophisticated scam

Author
Natasha Gordon and Lochlan Lineham, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 13 Jun 2022, 8:47pm

Kiwis are being warned about a highly sophisticated scam where crooks disguise themselves as bank workers and pretend to combat fraud.

New Zealand children's book author Malcolm Clarke has posted a viral video warning of the scam, which aims to swindle money from Kiwis' accounts.

Clarke, who goes by malcolm_credits on Tik Tok, says he cancelled his Kiwibank card when he noticed strange transactions from his account. He was then told by Kiwibank that their fraud department would look into it.

Clarke then received a no caller ID phone call from the scammers claiming to be from Kiwibank asking for his access code. When Clarke then got suspicious of the anonymous caller the scammer then called back on an 0800 number asking for passwords and the answers to his security questions.

Clarke told the Herald he is lucky he didn't fall for the scam but is worried others might.

"I'm in a lucky position but I'm worried as scams escalate, especially for those who are less digitally experienced and more vulnerable"

Kiwibank is urging customers to be watchful and a spokesperson said these scams are particularly convincing as scammers often claim to be from a bank's fraud or cyber security team which can catch customers off-guard and make the questions seem more legitimate.

Scammers may say they are asking for security information but what they actually want is to steal your personal information, the spokesperson said.

Netsafe's Sean Lyons said scams similar to the one Clarke experienced are evolving quickly.

Lyons says that these scams are a business that aims to stay unrecognisable to the public.

"Although as illegal as it is, it's a business. And therefore, they make sure that they stay ahead of the game as much as any business does."

"At the point of which a scam is easily recognisable people stop falling for it, people stop paying the money and their business suffers."

Clarke's experience was worrying, says Lyons, because the scammers praised Clarke on his ability to question the trustworthiness of the situation.

"Every time he talked about not giving personal information, the scammers almost applauded him that it was great that he was doing that and that it was the right thing to do, it's a practised thing," said Lyons.

Lyons wants the public to trust their intuition.

"Question everything, more than just question them, don't bother questioning them. You can politely end the call and contact your bank, not via a phone number they've given you."