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"Wangiri" (One Ring and Cut) Fraud

Wangiri calls are typically missed calls from an overseas number, with the caller hanging up after one ring or less, before the receiver can answer. The intention of the scammer is to entice you to call back the number upon seeing a missed call. If you were to call back the number, once connected you could be charged at premium rates while a message plays to encourage you to stay on the line as long as possible. 

A variation on the Wangiri scam happens when an operator answers when you return the missed call, purports to be from a trusted organisation, and then attempts to collect personal information or payment details by fraudulent means.

It is recommended, if you receive a missed call from an unknown overseas number, instead of returning the call, wait for the caller to contact you again to ensure it is a genuine enquiry.

More information:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wangiri

http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2017/04/had-calls-from-a-weird-overseas-number-lately-here-s-why.html

"Technical Support" Scam

Typically made from a number disguised as a New Zealand calling code, technical support scammers will often purport to be from a trusted provider (often Microsoft or your telecommunications provider) to sell unnecessary and overpriced “support packages”, or more commonly to gain control or access to your computer. Once access is granted it can then be used to steal personal information in order to commit identity fraud, or to enable other illegal activity.

It is recommended, if you receive an unexpected phone call and are suspicious, hang up and contact the company directly on their number listed in the phone book or on their website.

Most legitimate organisations do not call you direct.

More information:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_support_scam

https://www.netsafe.org.nz/can-i-trust-cold-calling-pc-technical-support-companies/

https://www.nortonlifelock.com/blogs/security-response/tech-support-scams

“Government Grant” Scam

If you receive a call from someone offering free money in the form of a Government grant or similar, this may be a scammer, and the grant may be fictitious. A scam caller will then try to gain your personal information, and often direct payments, in the form of Western Union, iTunes voucher codes, or similar non-refundable and difficult to trace methods. 

More information:

https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/learn-grants/grant-fraud/grant-related-scams.html

“Inland Revenue” Scam

Calls made from someone claiming to be from the IRD, and attempting to collect payment over the phone, may be made by scammers.

It is strongly recommended that the best procedure is to hang up and contact the IRD directly, to ensure you avoid scammers while keeping current with any tax obligations.

More information:

http://www.ird.govt.nz/identity-security/scam/scam-alert.html

“Telco provider” Scam

Calls made from someone claiming to be from your telecommunications provider, and attempting to collect payment over the phone on billing arrears, may be made by scammers. Consumers should beware of anyone who asks for bank account details, internet banking access information, credit card numbers or asks them to perform unusual actions on their computer.

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be your telecommunications provider and are suspicious, it is recommended you immediately hang up and contact the company directly on their number listed in the phone book or on their website.

More information:

https://www.netsafe.org.nz/impersonationscam/

Targeted Impersonation Scam

A relatively recent type of scam, impersonation scams come in several guises. The defining characteristic of these scams is that scammers will specifically target you and your friends/family members as victims.

These scams may be elaborate and involve several steps in order to research and capture your personal information. Therefore, scammers have a lot of details about you, and use this information to create convincing scenarios, so that these types of scams often appear to be genuine.

Police Scam

This scam often starts by scammers trying to obtain the name and phone number of a victim’s husband or wife, by claiming to be a mail service such as Courier Post delivering a parcel. The scammer then uses these details to call the family member, pretending that they are the Police and saying that their relative is in police custody. In some instances, they use a technique called ‘number spoofing’ so that it appears that the call is coming from the relative’s mobile number.

Consumers should beware of anyone who calls them claiming to be from the Police who asks for cash or instant payment via other means such as iTunes vouchers, for the release of family members in custody.

It is recommended if you receive a suspicious call, do not engage with caller, but hang up immediately and report the suspicious call to the Police.

Community Scam

These types of scams are similar to the “Police Scam” noted above. Multiple incidents of phone scams have been recorded within local communities, where scammers have inside knowledge of victims’ families. Consumers should beware of anyone who calls them claiming to be from the Police, and asks for cash or instant payment via other means such as iTunes vouchers, for the release of family members in custody.

It is recommended if you receive a suspicious call, do not engage with caller, but hang up immediately and report the suspicious call to the Police.

Click here to find out what to do if you are targeted by scammers.

Last Modified On Tuesday, 25 May 2021