By Angie Mentis, Managing Director & CEO at Bank of New Zealand
It’s Scam Savvy Week, and I’m really excited to see BNZers all around the country supporting their communities in our branches, at malls, business associations, rest homes, Citizens Advice Bureaus, Parliament, libraries, police stations, RSAs, as well as our Partners Centres – to help make more New Zealanders Scam Savvy.
Anyone can fall victim to a scam. Some new research shows that despite many people thinking only older people are the victims of scams, those aged between 35 and 44 are the most likely to have lost money to a scam than any other age group.
It makes sense. People are busy, they’re juggling lots of different aspects of their lives – jobs, families, friends, and at the same time scammers are getting better, more sophisticated, and more opportunistic.
Scammers take advantage of good people. It’s no longer just about winning lottery tickets and marriage proposals. Scammers exploit our empathy for others, they mimic our family and friends, they sell fake tickets, and increasingly they look and feel like the organisations we interact with every day.
We know that relationships are important to New Zealanders’ wellbeing, and the internet plays a critical role in how we connect with one another and how we run our lives. We also know that many people become hesitant to use the internet after being scammed, which can be isolating and detrimental to people’s lives.
So, to help New Zealanders be safer online we’ve built great new digital tools to help identify and avoid scams by showing some of the tactics scammers frequently use.
We’re also working with CERT NZ to publish and visualise a dashboard of scam data. We’re calling it Scam Savvy Trending, and it’s a great way for people to see at a glance what the common techniques scammers are currently using to help them know what to be on the lookout for.
This week, our people will be out in their communities as “Scam Savvy Squads”. You’ll be able to spot them in their eye-catching blue BNZ Great Things t-shirts, and they’ll be taking people through these great new tools and quizzes.
Thousands of New Zealanders have been impacted by this so this week, take a moment, have a chat and get scam savvy.