Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Police lead online scam crackdown

New Zealand Police has partnered with Netsafe, CERT and Facebook to help protect Kiwis from online scammers.

S.C.A.M Gallery – or to use its more formal title, the Society of Con Artists and Manipulators’ Gallery – was launched across Facebook and Instagram today. 

“This is an online campaign aimed at raising awareness among Kiwis of the risks posed by scammers, and how people can protect themselves,” says Social Media Manager, NZ Police, Jess Bovey.

“The campaign profiles six common online scams that we see in New Zealand, using ‘Sam the Scamologist’ to explain how each scam is carried out, as well as what steps people can take to avoid falling into the scammers’ traps.”

The scams featured in the campaign centre around prizes and promotions; romance; online shopping; phishing; impersonation, and investment.

“New Zealanders are spending more and more time online, particularly on social media, and therefore the scammers are taking up residence there too,” says Ms Bovey.

“Sadly, we see many people falling victim to these scammers. It’s really important that people know what to look for in order to protect themselves, and I think this campaign can make a valuable contribution in that space.”

The Financial Intelligence Unit within the New Zealand Police estimate $55 million in reported scam transactions over the last 12 months. This figure does not include reports for proposed transactions where financial institutions prevented the transactions from being completed. The average amount per scam transaction is approximately $8000 however some start at less than $10 per transaction.

S.C.A.M Gallery was developed by Facebook in conjunction with Christchurch-based branding studio Not Another, alongside Netsafe, CERT and NZ Police.

More information is available at www.scamgallery.co.nz.

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