With the number of online scams popping up these days, Evelyn Rafferty is happy to keep up to date with measures to prevent herself from been sucked in by fraudsters.

The Whangārei woman was among seven senior citizens that attended Closed for Good, a session organised by BNZ in conjunction with SeniorNet Whangārei, to help them become scam savvy.

Now in its ninth year, an internet banking demonstration is organised so that senior citizens become more confident in using online banking and learn how to avoid being scammed.

Rafferty already uses internet banking and said the session with BNZ staff was quite in depth with a lot of time spent on beneficial questions and answers.


"I just wanted to keep up to date, especially with new scams appearing on a regular basis. It's just a sign of times I suppose, '' she said.

"I'd encourage other senior citizens to get in touch with Senior Net and learn more about these things because that's a good place to start and you can always ask questions."

Barbara Budgen of SeniorNet Whangārei said the more people learn about online scams, the better.

"Last year, arrangement was made for banks to talk to us but this year, BNZ contacted us. Learning about scams and how to avoid them is an ongoing thing, especially with new members coming in," Budgen said.

She said the sessions are a big part of what SeniorNet did to ensure members were abreast with the latest technology.

"A lot of them have fallen victims of scams, including one of our committee members who felt so disgusted that he fell for it," she said.

SeniorNet Whangārei is now open to answer questions from 10am to 1pm on Wednesdays.

A range of digital and interactive tools are now freely available online and have been created by BNZ in collaboration with partners including the Auckland Kindergarten Association, the Retirement Villages Association, and numerous high schools across the country.

Apart from senior citizens, the BNZ Closed for Good programme has also designed Penny the Penguin which is a fun and interactive storybook to help kindergarten-aged children learn the difference between needs and wants as they make choices to help Penny fix her sailboat.

There's also My Moni, a mobile app developed for teenagers aged between 15 and 18-years-old to help them practice making important financial decisions based on a range of familiar scenarios, such as buying their first car, as they prepare for financial independence.

For BNZ's Scam Savvy programme, visit www.getscamsavvy.co.nz. For the internet banking demo, head to www.demo.bnz.co.nz/demo/

Tips on how to avoid being scammed:
* Don't send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request — whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email.
* Do online searches. Type a company or product name into your favorite search engine with words like "review," "complaint" or "scam."
* Don't believe your caller ID. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up.
* Don't pay upfront for a promise.
* Talk to someone. Before you give up your money or personal information, talk to someone you trust. - From Scamwatch