Email scam targeting financial sector, warns Reserve Bank

by Maya Breen14 Jun 2016
The Reserve Bank has issued a warning of what appears to be a scam email sent to businesses in the financial sector. 
The scam email, purportedly from a Reserve Bank staff member, encourages recipients to click on a link to view “New Transaction Guidelines”. 
The email was not sent by the Reserve Bank, and clicking on the link could potentially expose the recipient’s computer to a virus. 

In April, CEO of Lester Binns warned Kiwis against an email phishing scam asking taxpayers to disclose their personal financial information, saying scammers most likely distributed the email in an attempt to capitalise on the close of the March financial year.

The website outlines below the different ways scams succeed and what to be on the look out for:
How they get to you
Scams succeed because they look like the real thing, and they push your buttons.
They speak to a strong need or desire … and they push hard for a natural and automatic human response.

Scammers rely on common human vulnerabilities:

Respecting authority.
Scammers will use uniforms, letterheads, government titles, prestigious institutions and celebrity endorsements to hoodwink you into trusting their credibility.
Does the authority check out?
Is it even legitimate?
Did their investment managers go to Harvard? Probably not, but even so, so what?

Believing that all companies and websites are legitimate.
No, they can be set up for the sole intent of scamming people, then quickly shut down with no trace of the scammers, or your money. Don't trust companies or websites you don't know .

Hoping that there are short cuts and secrets to wealth.
If there were, why would they need your money? They would already be wealthy. Get independent advice on any investment proposal.

Feeling obligated to return a favour.
Scammers will often offer a gift or service, knowing you'll feel like you owe them something in return. You don't.

Weakening in the face of lesser demands.
If you say "no" to $5000, scammers know you're more likely to say "yes" if they drop the demand to $2000. Say "no" to any financial decision until you check it thoroughly.

Social reinforcement.
Scammers will tell you everyone's doing it and so should you. The scammers are lying.

Visit for more information about how scams work and how you can protect yourself.

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