A record 35 million dollars lost to fraud this year
At least $35 million was lost to fraud and scams in New Zealand this year, according to Netsafe.
The cybersecurity organization said there had been a 90% increase in reports of scams, fraud and harm online this year compared to 2021.
It received 15,384 complaints related to fraud or fraud, an increase of 20% compared to the previous year. This is in addition to the 28,253 reports relating to the disclosure of sensitive personal data, harmful hate speech, breaches of privacy and material about sexual abuse of children.
Netsafe said this year’s number of complaints was the highest it had seen in its 24-year history.
* Fraud Awareness Week: Consumers encouraged to talk about fraud, share stories
* Online scams stop during Covid-19 lockdown, shoppers warned about scams on social media
* NetSafe reports a “drastic” jump in online fraud losses
Brent Carey, chief executive of Netsafe, said ram raids had been one of the country’s biggest problems this year, but digital ram raids had racked up tens of millions in damage and were not receiving the same attention or funding to combat.
Netsafe’s annual report shows that investment fraud was the most common fraud this year, followed by relationship and trust fraud.
In most cases, a scam artist posed as someone from a bank, utility, or government and conned the victim out of thousands of dollars.
Fraud was on the rise because most consumers didn’t know what warnings to look for, the nonprofit said.
Sean Lyons, head of cyber security at Netsafe, said the rise in fraud could be partly due to the general increase in technology use and online shopping in recent years.
“With all types of harm online, the more we participate online, the more likely we are to potentially become victims.
“The amount of scams that are out there and the frequency that we come across them is generally increasing.”
Mr Lyons said fraud and fraud losses continued to grow and affect more Kiwis as fraudsters worked to continually develop and change their tactics and schemes.
He said there were warning signs consumers can look for as red flags, including unreasonable time pressure on a consumer and the desire to move communications between social media platforms or apps.
“Fraudsters will generally put people under unreasonable time pressure. There is almost always pressure to act quickly and take advantage of this investment or to get the better deal you have to act now. All of these actions now tactics are used to take away our ability to check, Lyons said.
“Fraudsters will often try to move us in and out of platforms we are comfortable with to try to remove the protections that websites have and to put us in places that are less familiar.”
Other warning signs were convoluted stories about how money became transactions, and an attempt to get consumers to make payments through wire transfers or buy gift cards in-store, rather than more common methods of bank or credit card transactions, Lyons said.
Fraudsters were looking to make big bucks at all times of the year, but increasingly wanted to catch people out during periods of expected increased spending, including around Black Friday and before Christmas, he said.
“There is an increasing number of online shopping and retail based frauds, it is certainly the time to look out for unusual offers. Sometimes organizations will have their own website hacked and data attacked, so it is very important that people think carefully when they get offer.”