Police advice for avoiding money scams

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Police have released a video resource on scamming and are encouraging older New Zealanders to take heed in order to protect themselves from losing money.

National Manager Crime Prevention, Superintendent Bruce Bird said older people can be particularly vulnerable to fall victim to fake promises and offers.

"Retirees may have spare capital for investment, they may be travelling more and booking holidays online, they may be new to online dating or buying goods online and this makes them vulnerable to online scams," said Mr Bird.

"Often they have cash on them and are more likely to be home during the day. This also makes them vulnerable to door-to-door scammers."

He encourages younger people to share the video with their relatives to help protect them.

Police have summarised the video into a list of tips:

- The numbers and ways of being scammed is growing and it can seem daunting trying to weed the scams from bona fide offers.
- If something sounds too good to be true it usually is. Don't respond to letters or emails saying you won the lottery - you haven't - it is always a scam.
- If you are offered a deal or you are interested in investing in then you need to spend some time researching it to make sure it is genuine.
- Talk to people you can trust about it, friends and family or if it is an investment opportunity, a qualified financial expert. This may involve a fee, but it is better to have done this than to lose your life-savings.
- Don't get pressured into making a decision. If someone is offering you a bona-fide deal and they are genuine then they will wait for you to check it out - in fact they should encourage you to check it out.
- Remember it is unlikely you will get your money back once you have given it to a scammer.
- If you or someone you know has been scammed you need to report it as soon as possible.
- Go to scamwatch.co.nz to report a scam.
- If you have lost a large amount of money you should report it to Police as well. Unfortunately since many scammers operate from overseas it is unlikely we will be able to recover your money, but we can try and warn others about the scam.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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