An elderly woman who lost $10,000 is among more than 20 victims who have been scammed in the past few months by overseas callers.

Police are warning people to be vigilant and wary of calls from these overseas scammers and not to ever hand over their personal details.

Auckland City Financial Crime Unit Detective Sergeant Kelly Corby said Operation Hyattsville was looking into more than 20 complaints from victims who have lost tens of thousands of dollars due to phone scammers.

On average each victim had lost about $30,000.


Auckland resident Marion had $10,000 taken from her account after a caller convinced her that there was an urgent issue with her Spark account and they needed to access her computer remotely to fix the issue.

She said they told her she would lose her email account which panicked her.

They spent time fixing the alleged problem and then asked her for her bank details which she handed over.

The scammer asked Marion to download the Teamviewer app which allowed them to access her computer before asking for her banking details.

Marion's money was able to be recovered after her bank noticed suspicious banking activity.

Detective Sergeant Corby said in most instances the victims are not as lucky as Marion and several million dollars lost by Kiwis to these offshore scammers in the past few months alone.

Once the money was transferred overseas it was extremely difficult to recover...

"We are not talking about small amounts of money," she said.


"Phone scams are nothing new, however we are concerned after seeing a growing trend of cases recently where victims have been conned over the phone.

"If you think you are a victim of a phone scam, you need to act fast and notify your bank immediately."

Police are reminding the public to never give their banking details over the phone to a stranger even if they say they're from the bank or phone provider and not to allow the person over the phone to access your computer.

They believe there are people in New Zealand who are acting as money mules for the offshore scammers because the money is placed into local accounts before being transferred overseas.

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