By Alexandra McK, Emily Y and Zoe S
SCAMS – HOW TO PREVENT AND AVOID
A scam is defined as ‘a dishonest scheme or a fraud.’ For this presentation, we will focus on
digital scams, which are described as ‘a fraud which uses Internet services or software with
Internet access to defraud victims or to otherwise take advantage of them.’
So why do people scam?
There are multiple reasons. For some, it is their form of income, while others do it just for fun.
Either way, these scams can be devastating to their victims, destroying them emotionally and
According to NetSafe, the three most common reported scams in 2012 are: Cold-calling
computer viruses, Bank phishing & tax refunds, and Online auctions & trading scams.
However, NetSafe estimates that the number of unreported scams are much greater, and
expects that as many as 2,000 adult New Zealanders are targeted every day with scams.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR
Scammers have many different ways of extorting money from people, but frequently have
some or all of these tell-tale signs:
– Poor grammar or spelling, especially if they claim to be from an English-speaking country.
– Anything, from a job to a car, for a price which is too good to be true. Often, it is.
– Emails from businesses such as Microsoft or the bank claiming they will shut down your
account if you don’t enter your username and passwords. These companies would never
– A need for money. With scams, money is always what it boils down to.
– After they have requested money, the scammers often insist that you send the money to
them via organizations such Western Union or PayPal, as once this money is sent, it is
HOW TO PREVENT SCAMS
– Read the fine print. Scammers know that most people can’t be bothered reading it before
agreeing to the Terms and Conditions. Buried in the text are terms that force you to pay monthly
– Keep your firewalls and/or antivirus programs up to date. These block out most of the spam that
you would otherwise be receiving.
– Don’t give out personal information or money to strangers. No matter what the situation, if you
are unsure about something, do some research. If it is a scam, then you could have potentially
saved yourself thousands of dollars.
– If you have been scammed, report it to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs' Scamwatch website or
to the police.
– Research the site before you use it to see whether it is valid and/or safe.
– Always think first before entering your personal details, and only enter compulsory
details, making up names and addresses etc. if necessary.
– If a message pops up, DO NOT click on it. Instead leave the computer and contact NetSafe or
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