Police say watch out for scam letters, emails, calls
Matamata Police are warning residents to watch out for potential scammers targeting people through letters, email and phone calls.
Sergeant Graham McGurk said police received reports of scams almost every week and in some cases people had lost upwards of $50,000.
‘‘ We’ve had people come in quite distressed, they’re desperate once they realise their money is gone,’’ Mr McGurk said.
Most scams were run from outside New Zealand, making it difficult for police to intervene, Mr McGurk said.
‘‘ Once any money goes offshore, it’s almost impossible to get back – basically, it’s gone.’’
Resident Dan Arbuckle received a letter in the mail from a person claiming to work for a finance company in Britain.
The letter, which was personally addressed to him, offered a ‘‘failure-proof, 100 per cent riskfree and legal’’ way to acquire more than $2 million.
‘‘As soon as I started reading it I thought, ‘this doesn’t add up’,’’ Mr Arbuckle said.
The letter asked him to make contact via email, which Mr McGurk said was common this type of scam.
‘‘ Never make any contact, especially by email,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s like fishing – as soon as you reply, you have taken the bait.’’
It was also important never to give out pin numbers or bank account details, he said.
He advised anyone who received one of these letters to simply throw it away.