aged fi­nan­cial abuse

Element - - Contents - Bron­wyn Groot is BNZ’S Fi­nan­cial El­der Abuse Preven­tion Spe­cial­ist and runs work­shops to arm the el­derly with in­for­ma­tion and tools to pre­vent them from be­ing tricked out of money. BNZ works closely with Age Con­cern which runs an an­nual el­der fi­nan­cial ab

Re­search shows New Zealan­ders lose over $400 mil­lion per year to scams. The el­derly com­mu­nity are par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble to scams and fraud or just plain theft. As tech­nol­ogy changes and the com­plex­ity of scams and fraud evolves, the need to sup­port el­derly against this has in­creased. Scam­mers tar­get vic­tims through: door-to-door ap­proaches; emails; land­line and mo­bile phones; in­ter­net; and credit cards through fraud­u­lent schemes. The most com­mon scams in­clude emails ask­ing you to send money, let­ters say­ing you’ve won a prize or calls telling you your com­puter needs fix­ing and door-knock­ers ask­ing for work around your home. They may pose as char­i­ties, psy­chics or even dat­ing agen­cies. Scam­mers typ­i­cally send out false bank-branded emails and ask you to click on a link – banks will never work this way. An­other tech­nique is steal­ing an el­derly per­son’s credit card, then pre­tend­ing to be from the bank or po­lice and ask­ing for their PIN to can­cel the card. Never give out your PIN or pass­word to any­one. Do not let cards out of your sight. Fraud­sters have been known to take pho­tos of the cards with their phones. Also check state­ments reg­u­larly for un­usual trans­ac­tions. If you have been scammed con­tact your bank im­me­di­ately. Never give out in­for­ma­tion about your­self to strangers – over the phone, at your door, or on your com­puter. Check out the lat­est scams:

• con­sumer­af­fairs.govt.nz/scams

• dia.govt.nz/ser­vices-anti-spamRe­ported-scams privacy.org.nz/

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