Banks launch new campaign against scams

The banking industry is launching a new campaign against scams and other financial crimes.

The catch cry of the campaign is “Take a Sec to Check”, and it is being run by the Bankers Association.

Association chief executive Roger Beaumont says care needs to be taken before anyone parts with either money or personal details.

“We’re encouraging everyone to take a moment before making a payment or giving away personal information, just to be sure it’s not a scam,” Beaumont said.

“Scams are a form of financial crime,” he said. “They are constantly evolving and are increasingly sophisticated.”
Beaumont said scams tended to involve criminals pretending to be a trusted person or organisation who then persuaded people to make payments to them or hand over personal information to access their bank accounts.

“We know there’s no silver bullet when it comes to fighting financial crime,” he said.

“We also know it pays to be alert, know what to look out for, and how to deal with it. If you take a sec, you might save yourself from being scammed.”

Beaumont’s tips included never clicking on links in unsolicited emails or text messages, and being wary of cold calls asking for personal details or money.

He said if an unexpected phone call seemed suspicious, people should hang up and call the business back using its publicly available phone number.

Other advice included using long, unique passwords and changing them often, and not allowing strangers remote access to your computer or device.

In addition, operating systems and apps on devices should be kept up to date.

According to Cert NZ, cyber losses rose dramatically during the course of last year.

It reported total cyber losses for the third quarter of 2022 totalled $8.9 million, 90% of which was caused by scams and fraud.The figure for the previous two years was $36.1 million.

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