Fraud awareness highlights online scam threat

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Raising awareness of online scams is the key focus for this year's Fraud Awareness Week.

Last year, New Zeleanders lost more than $4.8 million to scams.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's (MBIE) Scamwatch website shows the majority of reported scams occur online, with losses growing yearly.

To date for 2014 alone, Kiwis have reported losses of close to $3 million.

Recently, there has been a rise in social media such as Facebook, which appeal to the social nature of the site. They rely on users to trust updates from their friends to spread the scams.

As part of Fraud Awareness Week, June 2 to 6, the ministry will be covering a recent scam each day of the week to keep consumers informed.

Scams are constantly evolving and becoming more and more sophisticated so that they can fool even the most tech-savvy among us.

Part-time work seekers are warned about employment scams doing the rounds. Scammers advertise jobs where legitimate employers do, such as online and in newspapers.

Due to the nature of the job description, these part-time, work-from-home job advertisements are particularly appealing to students. To date for 2014, kiwis have lost $28,040 on these job scams.

Last year the total was almost $50 000.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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