Think you’ve been scammed?

Anyone can be caught unaware by a scam, scammers usually target money but can also affect a person’s relationships, self-confidence, online security, and privacy.

If you suspect you are being scammed, hang up the phone immediately. Don’t reply to emails or letters scammers have sent you. Never send them money. Recovering money paid in a scam is unlikely, so paying anyone promising they will get your lost money back is just as likely to be another scam.

If you’re the victim of a financial, credit card scam, or identity theft. Contact your bank immediately Put a stop on your credit card, and change the passwords and PIN on all your bank accounts. 

If you are the victim of a computer scam, disconnect your computer from the internet and if you have given out credit card or bank details then contact your bank immediately Put a stop on your credit card, and change the passwords and PIN on all your bank accounts.

Once you are confident your computer is ‘clean’ then change all your login passwords. If the computer is not ‘clean’ use the computer of a trusted friend or family member. Your local computer shop can ‘disinfect’ your system for you. If your email account has been hacked you may want to have it checked out to ensure emails are not being redirected when you either send or receive them.

Saving Ebay, TradeMe, Amazon or Bank Account website passwords in your browser is not wise!  If you have already done so, then delete the browser passwords. Changing password from time to time is also a good policy and don’t use the same password for everything!

From personal experience, I found reporting a scam is often a waste of time and effort. The NZ Police redirect you to NetSafe, Department of Internal Affairs and NetSafe all have avenues through which to record an incident but that’s all they do, record it, no one will investigate it.

Protect your data by installing a reputable internet security solution and ensuring you keep off site backups.