Gisborne bank staff foil internet scammers

Intercepting three separate internet scams saved local customers thousands of dollars.

Intercepting three separate internet scams saved local customers thousands of dollars.

A HIGHLY unusual number of internet scams have been intercepted by a Gisborne bank. Over seven days the ASB branch on Gladstone Road prevented three of its customers being ripped off for thousands of dollars by international scammers.

ASB communications adviser Siobhan Enright said the lead-up to Christmas often saw an increase in scam transactions but having three in one week was a “highly unusual volume”.

They usually had to dealt with only one or two scams a year. She wanted to remind the public about the old saying — “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”.

Ms Enright said the other unusaul factor was the scams targeted a diverse range of customers — an elderly couple, a young girl and a middle-aged man — but all came from a similar recipient with a similar name and bank account details.

There were two Malaysian “scratchie” scams, where the person targeted was asked to put money in a foreign bank account to pay court costs so funds could be released to them. Ms Enright said the scammers used a trick that caught people off guard.

The bank customers filling out a survey form online so believed that because they had started the process themselves it was legitimate.

“They then received a message along the lines of, ‘sorry you didn’t win a prize, however, as a consolation prize we will send you some scratchies in the post’.

“One of the tickets is a loser ticket but then one is a winner of the second place prize of approximately US$200,000.”

It was then they were asked to deposit money so the funds could be released.

The third hoax was a travel scam involving a trip to China.

“Through conversations with ASB Gisborne branch staff, ASB Gisborne stopped the three separate internet scam transactions, saving local customers thousands of dollars.”

Ms Enright said it was important to remember to keep your credit card details and PIN numbers safe. A legitimate bank would never ask you for these details over the phone or by e-mail. If you are suspicious, contact your bank.

A HIGHLY unusual number of internet scams have been intercepted by a Gisborne bank. Over seven days the ASB branch on Gladstone Road prevented three of its customers being ripped off for thousands of dollars by international scammers.

ASB communications adviser Siobhan Enright said the lead-up to Christmas often saw an increase in scam transactions but having three in one week was a “highly unusual volume”.

They usually had to dealt with only one or two scams a year. She wanted to remind the public about the old saying — “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”.

Ms Enright said the other unusaul factor was the scams targeted a diverse range of customers — an elderly couple, a young girl and a middle-aged man — but all came from a similar recipient with a similar name and bank account details.

There were two Malaysian “scratchie” scams, where the person targeted was asked to put money in a foreign bank account to pay court costs so funds could be released to them. Ms Enright said the scammers used a trick that caught people off guard.

The bank customers filling out a survey form online so believed that because they had started the process themselves it was legitimate.

“They then received a message along the lines of, ‘sorry you didn’t win a prize, however, as a consolation prize we will send you some scratchies in the post’.

“One of the tickets is a loser ticket but then one is a winner of the second place prize of approximately US$200,000.”

It was then they were asked to deposit money so the funds could be released.

The third hoax was a travel scam involving a trip to China.

“Through conversations with ASB Gisborne branch staff, ASB Gisborne stopped the three separate internet scam transactions, saving local customers thousands of dollars.”

Ms Enright said it was important to remember to keep your credit card details and PIN numbers safe. A legitimate bank would never ask you for these details over the phone or by e-mail. If you are suspicious, contact your bank.

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