It's easy to guffaw and assume you'll never get scammed because you're too smart. But scammers are often very good at fooling you.
That includes chartered accountants, chief executives, police officers, professors and airline pilots, says Bronwyn Groot, manager fraud education at the Commission for Financial Capability. She meets a wide range of Kiwis who have fallen for scammers.
Cyber crime is huge in New Zealand, with more than 400,000 Kiwis having experienced one or more incidents according to the Ministry of Justice's New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey.
Even people educated about investing get caught. Former high-flying finance company owner Mark Hotchin lost a sum reported to be $225,000 to a common scammer.
When Groot moved over from the BNZ to the CFFC, she had to convince her boss that scams aren't just reserved for the gullible.
Often, victims have been going through a bad patch when they fall foul. They may be recently divorced, or have lost their job, says Groot. Maybe they need money and don't want to ask too many questions about the investment offer they've received.
The adage may not even be that helpful. Sometimes the fraudsters use common phrases to their advantage, says Groot, such as "it may sound too good to be true, but it really is that good".
They typically start small and gain your confidence. They're not looking for your life savings when they first hook you. They may have been gaining your confidence (aka grooming you) for months and only ask for about $5000 to start with.
If they're playing on emotions or greed as they often are, you'll want to believe that the $5000 "investment" is returning 20 per cent in the first few months.
Once you've handed over money but seen no return then what's known as the Gambler's Fallacy kicks in. That's the belief that statistically your luck must turn. Even if that were true with investments, this is a scam.
Then there is the belief that you can actually win that fake lottery.
"We want to believe there is going to be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and to trust others," says Groot. "It wasn't that long ago that we didn't lock our doors."
Fraud has evolved. Scammers are coming into our homes on phones and computers. "You don't have your defences up because you are in your own home," she says.
A Microsoft research report from last year looked at tech support scams - someone phones pretending to be from Microsoft or Spark.
The most frequent victims are not who you might think, says Microsoft New Zealand's national technology officer, Russell Craig. All too often the victims are millennials and male. That's thanks to a tendency towards risky behaviour and overconfidence in their technical abilities, says Craig. Those riskier behaviours include visiting torrent download sites, where they unwittingly encounter scams.
The survey found that Kiwis are at the more gullible end of countries for tech support scams. New Zealand is safer than most countries for many things and as a result we don't grow up suspicious of others. The survey found 21 per cent of Kiwis had been tricked into continuing with an interaction and 6 per cent of those had lost money.
The spectre of millennials and even younger generations falling for scams is one that Detective Sergeant Kevin Blackman of the police's Auckland City Financial Crime Unit sees regularly. Younger people's entire lives are conducted over the internet and social media.
"That is how they transact. Anything presented to them on the computer, they tend to believe in it," says Blackman.
Faced with something for sale on Facebook or a cold-calling scam, younger Kiwis may send money without checking the veracity of the offer or doing authentication checks.
Or they pay a fake invoice or believe that they've been hacked when someone purporting to be from a technology or telco calls them, rather than stopping to check they part with money or the information the scammer needs.
Kiwis of all ages do get scammed, says Blackman. Younger generations are simply represented more than expected.