Po­lice say watch out for scam let­ters, emails, calls

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NI­COLA STE­WART

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.

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