A guide has been launched to educate seniors about online scams to coincide with Fraud Awareness Week.

Get online savvy - A Guide for Seniors contains information on the types of scams targeting people over 50-years-of-age and tips on how to surf the internet safely.

The guide has been created by the cross-agency Consumer Fraud Working Group, which was formed last year to share resources and better identify and publicise consumer fraud and scams.

Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment's Scamwatch spokesman Jarrod Rendle says people in this age group may have more money to invest or be seeking online business opportunities; they may travel more frequently than other age groups; and they may be more likely to have their personal details on databases.


"This situation makes them very vulnerable to certain online scams - some of which are sophisticated and appear very real.

"They aim to take advantage of those who are new to booking travel and accommodation online; are new to the internet dating scene; are looking to invest overseas; or perhaps are less adept at using social media or aware of the dangers of spam and phishing.

"Some people have lost hundreds of dollars, had their holidays ruined or been sold fake tickets to a big rugby game, while others have lost tens of thousands of dollars or their entire life savings.

"But sometimes the best defence against scams is to warn others. If you, or someone you know has been targeted by a scam then report it immediately to Scamwatch (www.scamwatch.govt.nz) and help prevent others from becoming a victim.

"Even though it may seem embarrassing, it helps us to warn and protect others."

The working group will also be developing training material to be rolled out at SeniorNet workshops in the coming months.

Scams - Get online savvy - A guide for seniors is available at www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/scams/faw2013.