Reserve Bank issues phone scam warning

By Ben Chapman-Smith

The Reserve Bank said fraudsters were using its name to make their scam seem legitimate. Photo / Mark Mitchell
The Reserve Bank said fraudsters were using its name to make their scam seem legitimate. Photo / Mark Mitchell

A warning has been issued against fraudsters who are trying to scam New Zealanders out of money by posing as employees of the Reserve Bank.

The Reserve Bank said the fraudsters were using its name to make their scam seem legitimate.

Victims are being told they need to pay money to access a tax refund, a one-off bonus from the Government, or some unclaimed money.

The fraudsters often ask victims for immediate payment via a website, which sends the money to the Philippines or India.

Those behind the scam were also sometimes pretending to work for the Inland Revenue Department or Prime Minister John Key.

Victims were being reassured by claims the Reserve Bank could provide a "receipt number" or other proof that the "release payment" had been made.

"These scammers are just trying to steal money. They're not genuine; they're fraudsters," a spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the bank had no involvement in tax refunds or tax collection.

"Tax refunds are managed by the Inland Revenue Department, which doesn't ask for payments in order to process refunds. You don't need to pay the Inland Revenue Department or any other government agency to receive a tax refund, bonus payment or receive unclaimed money."

Anyone contacted by the scammers should simply hang up the phone immediately, the Reserve Bank said.

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