New Zealand has been "discovered" by global fraudsters and the general public are being seen as the easy targets.
That's the view of fraud experts at the Police and New Zealand's largest bank - the ANZ.
Agencies which deal with scams and frauds in New Zealand have pointed to a big increase in the past year.
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Bridget Doell, a detective senior sergeant at the Police financial crime unit in Auckland, said the scams being seen in New Zealand had been operating in other parts of the world for some time.
"Traditionally these trends have emerged globally for a long time and in my view we are finally seeing it in New Zealand - the scammers are finally reaching this far."
Doell has worked in the police combating fraud since 2010 and has noticed the rise in scams here.
"It has certainly spiked in the last year."
ANZ's Natasha McFlinn, a senior fraud manager at the bank, believes the problem is only going to continue to grow.
"I think we will see an increase in attempts. The banks, the police, CFFC [the Commission for Financial Capability] are doing more all the time, we are really on this problem."
But she believes it is consumers who are being targeted.
McFlinn said banks and other corporates had tightened their security in recent years to shore up their defences against fraudsters.
"It is really hard to get into their systems and for fraudsters to do unauthorised things. So they are starting to move more and more into just attacking customers directly because tricking somebody into making a payment is a lot easier and it is harder to detect."
Around a third of the scams ANZ sees relate to remote access, cold calling scams.
That's where you get a call out of the blue from someone purporting to be from a well-known company and saying there are problems with your computer and they need access to it.
Once granted that access they can empty your bank account.
"The sums of money are generally larger, from an older population because they tend to have more access to cash because they have retirement savings," said McFlinn.
She says a lack of understanding of technology is often what catches people out.
"It is people saying my computer has been hacked because somebody told me. I don't know much about computers so it must be true."
From there the money is often transferred to a "mule", a person who takes a fee for moving money through their account and then either withdrawing it or transferring it elsewhere.
ANZ reported 842 cases of money mules in the year to October - a 69 per cent rise on the prior period.
McFlinn says: "There is an increase in scams so there will be a natural increase in mules. But I think another part of it is, we and all the banks, have got very good at detecting international money transfers so because we can stop those pretty quickly, they need to find a way of moving the money domestically and disguising it before it goes overseas so that is where some of these rings are popping up."
Acting as a money mule is illegal in New Zealand. Some of those who get involved, wittingly or unwittingly, are international students who are encouraged to sell their bank account details to someone upon leaving New Zealand.
"Often they have had a normal bank account as a student - they have been going to bars and things. Then they sell their details on - it does take time to notice."
Looking for scams can be a bit like a needle in a haystack. McFlinn said about 350,000 bill payments went from the ANZ every day and statistically about half of one of those was a scam.
"So while it is very significant when it happens and we do see scams every day, in the context of all the payments it is pretty tough because there are so many."
The bank It uses a fraud detection system which runs hundreds of rules over transactions to look for that fraudulent payment and hold it.
Payments have got faster and faster in recent years and within the same bank they can be instantaneous. Between banks transfers are processed multiple times a day.
Some have suggested slowing that down would help pick up more fraud, or at least give people who have been scammed more time to react and get their money back.
McFlinn said there were regulations that required it to make payments quickly and not hold them up and it relied on its fraud detection system to find the transactions that were at issue.
Anyone who believes they have been scammed is urged to contact their bank as soon as possible.
Doell has a clear message for those wanting to avoid getting caught out.
"Do not trust anyone that calls you, emails you or asks for any personal information or identification about you. Do not move any money that is out of the norm.
"If you have any queries or concerns hang up the phone immediately and go into the bank or telco and ask them face to face why they have tried to call you. More often than not, you will find out it wasn't them calling, it was a scammer."