Richard Andrewes of Managerisk in Kapiti
The Kapiti Coast has seen record numbers of scams during the Covid-19 period and KCNews spoke to local expert Richard Andrewes about how best to avoid them.
Police advise the most common types of online scams include Romance scams, Cold calling scams, Business email compromise, Employment or work-at-home scams, and Investment opportunity scams.
Mr Andrewes says it is vital to be aware that scams exist.
"Scams can appear in many forms of communication whether it be by email, phone, in person or via social media platforms. You always need to consider that the communication you're receiving could be a scam and if it looks too good to be true, it probably is."
He says it is important to Research the person contacting you.
"Take the time to research the person contacting you to see if their business is legitimate. It is as easy as using a google image search or finding online reviews to see if others have had dealings with them. If the message or email has come from a friend always check with them first to see if it was sent direct from them."
Mr Andrewes says Texts and Pop-ups require caution.
"If you receive any suspicious texts, pop-up windows or click-on links do not open them.
It is best to delete these straight away, if you are unable to verify the identity of the source."
He says Scammers will often ask you for permission to remotely access your computer.
"They could say they are from your phone company or another reputable company. If they are asking to fix a problem you are not aware of, they could be trying to install a virus on your computer. Make sure you hang up straight away and you can always call your phone company afterwards to double check if they called."
Keeping personal details secure at all times
"Make sure your personal details are always secure by keeping passwords and pin numbers in a safe place. Always use password protection on all mobile devices and computers and do not share access with others (including remotely). Do regular updates of security software and backing up all data is advised."
Mr Andrewes says passwords should be chosen carefully. "The longer your passwords are the better, change them regularly and do not share with anyone. It can be easy to share personal information on social media, but scammers can easily create a fake identity so always be careful what you are sharing.
"When you receive important documents or bills in the mail make sure you shred these afterwards.
Do not give your bank account details or send money to anyone you do not know or trust and do not agree to transfer money or goods for anyone."
Privacy and Security settings
Mr Andrewes says it is important to learn how to use your privacy and security settings on all your social media platforms and if you see any suspicious behaviour to report this straight away.
Being safe with online shopping
"When shopping online always be aware of offers that are too good to be true. Always use an online shopping service that you trust. When making payments be aware of virtual currencies like Bitcoin, these do not have the same protections as some other transaction methods which means you have the risk of not getting your money back after it is sent."
For More: https://www.police.govt.nz/advice/email-and-internet-safety/internet-scams-spam-and-fraud
Richard Andrewes: https://managerisk.co.nz/