By Haylee Robbins firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone scammers are harassing unsuspecting New Zealanders.
Unfortunately, Kiwis are receiving all sorts of phoney phone calls from places such as Bangladesh, Cuba, South America and even Canada.
Their scams are just as diverse. Ranging from robo-dialling to people offering Windows Technical Support to scammers thanking you for signing up to earn an extra income with their company, and when you have no idea what they are talking about and politely refuse their “generous” offer, they become threatening and antagonistic.
Last year Sergeant Graeme Wood of the Waiuku Police issued a warning after a high number of locals were targeted by scammers.
“Scammers are calling, saying they are from a telecommunications company. They are telling people something is wrong with their computer,” said Sergeant Graeme Wood.“Don’t give out any personal information, once the money has gone off shore, we can’t get it back.”
Be warned, phoning back a mystery caller from one of these international numbers could end up costing you a lot of money. Robo-dialling, also known as the “wangiri” scam, are calls from an overseas number that will ring a few times and then disconnect.
If you make the mistake of calling the number back you run the risk of being slapped with a substantial phone bill. While these are usually international numbers they can come up on your phone as a fixed or mobile NZ number due to caller ID spoofing—fake caller ID.
Meera Kaushik, Vodfone’s External Communications Advisor provided comment from Vodafone, saying that there are different types of scams that pop up all the time.
Another important one to look out for is when you get an unsolicited call, and someone starts to talk to you and they either try to sell you something or ask you for money.
Vodafone suggests that you treat the call in the same way you would treat an unsolicited email of this nature. Simply hang up and don’t engage with them. “We cannot stress enough how important it is to always be on your guard with callers you don’t know. If something seems a bit off or too good to be true, it usually is.”
Vodafone assures that they, and other Internet Service Providers (ISPs), do take steps to prevent these types of calls from happening.
For more information about telephone scams visit the Consumer Protection website or to report a scam visit NetSafe’s website www.theorb.org.nz