New group will help consumers in fight against scams

  • Chris Tremain
Consumer Affairs

Consumer Affairs Minister Chris Tremain says a new cross-agency group will help to raise awareness of scams so that people can protect themselves from being misled.

“Today marks the beginning of Fraud Awareness Week, so this is a timely occasion to highlight the importance of vigilance in the fight against scams,” says Mr Tremain.

“One in 10 New Zealanders approached by scammers will hand over money, with the average victim losing almost $5000.

“The internet is making it even easier for fraudsters to deceive people through online fraud like dating and investment scams. Awareness needs to be raised to help people recognise scams before it is too late.

“I am pleased to announce the formation of a new cross-agency group dedicated to fighting scams. The group will be chaired by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and supported by the Department of Internal Affairs’ anti-spam compliance unit and Netsafe, a Non-Government Organisation which promotes safe and confident use of the internet.

“This group will combine their resources to raise awareness, identify trends and provide comprehensive data to enforcement agencies. By working together we can help to fight scammers and prevent consumer fraud from being perpetrated in this country.”

Fraud Awareness Week will be launched today at the “Scamscape – Aspects of Online Fraud in New Zealand” conference in Wellington. The conference will provide an opportunity for fraud prevention experts, businesses, advocacy groups, and Government agencies to discuss the best way to combat online fraud.