You may have had a nice holiday, but scammers never take a break. In fact, in the last few months there has been a significant rise in the number of reported scam incidents.
New Zealanders, including businesses, reported 492 scams online at The orb reporting site in November 2015 — up from 289 in November 2014.
And the reported losses totaled $1,309,095 — a large increase from $510,944 lost in November 2014.
NetSafe, an independent non-profit organisation that promotes safe online use, says website defacement, denial of service attacks, and compromised accounts were all reported last month.
Report scams at The Orb website (external link)
Small business owners were among victims who reported spear phishing and whaling emails, where hackers target specific “big fish” people in a company.
The emails often include links to websites hosting malware or carrying malicious .pdf, .jar and .zip files. Don’t click on any links in unsolicited emails or from addresses you don’t recognise. NetSafe's website (external link) has tips on how to avoid email accounts being hacked.
NetSafe says there was a notable rise in "IRD refund" and "government grant" cold calls last month. Inland Revenue has advice on what to do if you have been scammed (external link) by a fake Inland Revenue email or website.
And there have been repeated warnings (external link) about the NZ Funding Grants website which has tricked many small firms into paying fees to find grants are non-existent.
As you can see from the list below , it’s very important to keep an eye out for any activity that looks a bit suspicious, such as unusual invoices, odd email addresses, demands for urgent payments or requests for you to log into websites.