Po­lice warn of money for­ward­ing tax scam

Waitaki Herald - - FEATURE/NEWS -

South­ern dis­trict Po­lice are warn­ing mem­bers of the public about a tax scam which is us­ing un­sus­pect­ing peo­ple as money mules by re­ceiv­ing stolen funds and then for­ward­ing it over­seas.

The scam in­volves a mem­ber of the public re­ceiv­ing a phone call stat­ing they have a tax re­bate wait­ing for them, but it will only be re­leased if they do­nate a set sum to a char­ity in In­dia.

By agree­ing to do­nate, a sum of money is placed in the per­son’s bank ac­count and in­struc­tions are then given to with­draw the money and for­ward to a char­ity in In­dia via West­ern Union.

‘‘Po­lice would like to re­it­er­ate that any sit­u­a­tion where you are ex­pected to do­nate to a char­ity or cause in or­der to re­ceive a tax re­bate is not le­git­i­mate,’’ South­ern Dis­trict Com­mand Cen­tre se­nior sergeant Craig Brown.

‘‘Po­lice urge any mem­ber of the public who re­ceives a phone call out­lin­ing the above de­tails to hang up and con­tact their lo­cal po­lice sta­tion.

Po­lice also want to hear from any­one who may have fallen vic­tim to the scam al­ready and ask them to con­tact their lo­cal po­lice sta­tion.

‘‘ Mem­bers of the public are re­minded to ex­er­cise cau­tion when re­ceiv­ing un­so­licited phone calls or emails which aims to give them a ben­e­fit.’’ Brown said peo­ple should re­mem­ber not to give out any per­sonal de­tails over the phone, in­clud­ing bank ac­count de­tails, pin num­bers, pass­words or per­sonal in­for­ma­tion.

‘‘If you have any doubts about the va­lid­ity of any cor­re­spon­dence, ask for the caller’s name and then call the com­pany’s generic phone num­ber listed on their web­site or in the phone­book and ask to be trans­ferred back to the per­son. If some­thing seems to easy or too good to be true, it of­ten is, and you should al­ways seek a sec­ond opin­ion from a loved one, close friend, or some­one you trust.’’

For more in­for­ma­tion on scams and how to pre­vent them, check out the Con­sumer Af­fairs’ ScamWatch web­site New Zealand Po­lice web­site or view the Po­lice Scam Pre­ven­tion Ad­vice video on YouTube.

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