Scam Awareness & Protection; Phishing
Be alert, be aware and avoid being reeled into any dodgy scheme, system, or scam that will sting your back pocket by taking notice and due caution from the alerts, warnings, examples and preventative measures you can take in the second part of our scam awareness series.
For a recap of the first part of the scam awareness and protection series go to;
• Is this a scam?
Firstly ask yourself a few questions as to how and why someone (possibly a potential scammer may be contacting you). Is it a bolt from the blue? An unexpected phone call, txt message, a letter received in the post, dubious looking website, email or message via social media that has a feeling of uncertainty to it. Just like you would have your reservations about a dodgy door-to-door salesperson turning up on your porch, hold the same doubts here.
What do they want? Is there a sense that you may need to provide personal information. Be cautious. Has there been some form of ‘exclusive offer’ being promised? This may be a ploy to entice you, attract interest or even to put you at ease before hooking you in to whatever scheme, scam or sting that is in play.
• Avoid providing information
Engaging in such behaviour is known as ‘phishing’. This is where scams (sent via txt/email) claim to be from a financial institute or other official-looking authority. To avoid phishing scams DO NOT click on any links. The crux of a phishing scam is to send you to a fake website (that replicates the real thing), urging you to provide personal and/or financial details. These can then be used against you. In many an instance, stealing or diverting your income – often to offshore accounts, which in worst-case scenarios is devoid of re-claiming.
If you believe you may be a victim of a phishing scam or you may have given up personal information firstly, alert your financial institution or alleged authority involved in the communications. Do so via the organisation’s official website or phone number – often an 0800 number in NZ.
It would also be highly recommended to change your account password, update security questions/answers and further protection – once again do so via the organisation’s official website.
• Be aware, be suspicious and take care
Being in small-time New Zealand, there is the sense that scammers will not target us kiwis down in the corner of the globe. This creates a false sense of security. Scammers are skilled at what they do. As described regarding phishing scams, scammers can create replica, fake websites, incorporating logos, letterheads and style of language to imitate that of trusted companies – international and New Zealand based. They are convincing, used to fine detail to look legitimate and gain your trust.
We would like to reiterate, scammers are skilled at what they do. They appeal to people’s emotions, build a relationship and foster trust, before exploiting the trust and stealing your key information, details and even your money.
If you have believe you have been victim to a scam or have any suspicions or doubt you can report the issue at; https://www.consumerprotection.govt.nz/general-help/scamwatch/report-a-scam/
NZCU South Security Questions – steps we take to ensure your security and protection.
- When an NZCU South member calls, we will ask a minimum of 3 security questions. One of which is the password of the account.
- If there is not a password we will ask a minimum of 4 security questions
- If a member incorrectly answers a question we will ask a further 2 security questions.
- If the member provides any info before we have asked for it we cannot use this as a security question e.g. if the member provides their name and member number without being asked NZCU South will NOT ask to confirm their name and member number for security.
- If an NZCU South staff member has any doubt additional security questions will be asked.
- If there is no password on an account NZCU South will ask the member to present at one of our branches with photo ID.
- If the member gets the password wrong then NZCU South will ask the member to present in Branch with photo ID.