Unfortunately, phone scams are a common problem, and it can be difficult to recognise a scam call with scammers becoming increasingly sophisticated in their approach.
Recognising a scam call
Unexpected contact from someone claiming to be from a trusted organisation, such as as your telecommunications provider, bank, power company or even a charity.
Asking you to call back a number that you don't recognise.
The call may come from a foreign or blocked number, but scammers can also disguise the number to look like it's local by using a method called number spoofing.
Requests for personal information or money and pressure to make a quick decision or face negative consequences.
Telling you that there is a problem with your computer and that they can help you fix it or telling you something that's too good to be true such as winning a competition that you don't remember entering.
What to do if you have received a scam call
If you have received an out of the blue call that seems suspicious, the best thing to do is hang up and not engage with the suspected scammer.
If they call or leave a voicemail and mention you need to call them back on a specific number, please be vigilant. Avoid calling back numbers you don't recognise as often you will be charged heavily for these calls.
Check whether the call is legitimate by calling the company directly on their number listed on their website.
Ignore instructions and avoid sharing any personal information with the caller.
If you think you have shared credit card or bank details, call your bank immediately.
If you have shared a password, change it immediately along with any other accounts that use the same password or login information.
If you think the scammer may have accessed your computer, it can be worthwhile scanning your computer for any viruses.
For more information about phone scams, please visit https://www.tcf.org.nz/consumers/complaints/phone-scammers/