Police warn of money forwarding tax scam
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.