Scams have become more and more sophisticated over time and scammers go to great lengths to appear trustworthy and legitimate.
We regularly see IRD scam emails asking you to follow a link to collect your tax refund. Banks are also often targeted by scammers. In the business space, there has been a spike in invoice scams where the scammers gain access to a business’ email account and advise customers of a change in bank accounts details. Because the email is sent from the business’ email accounts and tend to be for expected payments, these scammers are often successful and by the time it is discovered, the money is offshore and hard to recover.
With the increase sophistication of scammers, below are some ideas to help keep you safe.
- Remember that IRD, banks and the like will not ask you to click on links or provide password type information via email or phone.
- Read the language of the email or message. If it doesn’t look quite right or what you would expect from the sender, it is probably a scam.
- Verify the request by phoning a number you already know for the sender. Do not use the contact details recorded on the potential scam.
- If you have provided any personal information and are unsure whether it was legitimate, notify your bank as soon as possible so they can take steps to block any illegitimate transactions.