The Reserve Bank regularly receives enquiries from the public about financial scams, RBNZ spokesperson Angus Barclay said.
“Generally, these calls are from unsuspecting people who ring us to find out if a document or letter they have received is legitimate,” he said. “They want to know what to do about it and are ringing us for advice.”
Barclay said the best thing to do if you suspect you are a victim of fraud or question the legitimacy of some correspondence, is to not send any money and report straight to the police.
Among the enquiries, Barclay said the most common is when people receive a letter from an international bank claiming that the RBNZ has their money frozen in a fund, which requires payment by them to unlock the proposed money sitting in their name.
“It has been going on for years and people continue to lose money,” he said. “It’s important to know that the Reserve Bank doesn’t hold or process money for individuals and will not request payment from individuals by email.”
Barclay also said that it has come to the bank’s attention that fraudsters are replicating its letterhead.
Fraud Awareness Week is a weeklong cross-government initiative aimed to get people talking about scams. It runs until November. 18.
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The International Fraud Awareness Week is a good reminder of what to do if you’re the target of a financial scam, the Reserve Bank says.