scamAccording to this Newshub report, the amount lost by Kiwis to online scams and fraud rose to $33 million last year — triple the amount of 2017. “Figures released today in a report by online safety organisation Netsafe show there were 13,000 instances of online scams and fraud reported last year, up from 8,100 cases in 2017.”

That probably reflects the increased level of activity — in the past we used to get about one such e-mail a month, now it’s more like one or two a week, covering a range of themes. Usually they are easy to spot, although occasionally there is a sophisticated one.  We even got one saying “this e-mail is from a trusted source”!

“… common scams include fake tech support, invoice scams and investment fraud. Fake tech support, where scammers claim to have found a problem with the victim’s computer, was the most common scam reported to Netsafe.

“Reports to Netsafe represent only a fraction of the overall losses to scams, as many victims get lost in the support network or feel disillusioned about the point of reporting.”

The basic rule if you are unsure is a simple check with Netsafe, or directly with the organisation that is purported to be involved.