The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation

 

Keeping up with ‘real time’ scam threats


3 June 2010

The Department of Internal Affairs’ Anti-Spam Compliance Unit has developed a Reported Scams* web page to notify the public about 'real-time' scam threats.

Acting Manager of Anti-Spam, Steve O’Brien, says the new page allows people to keep up-to-date with the latest scams, and to identify the different kinds of scams that are out there.

“The Anti-Spam unit maintains a public spam (unsolicited electronic message) complaints service on the Department’s website, and often receives information about the various email and Short Message Service (SMS) text message-based scams circulating New Zealand,” said Steve.

“The new web page will be updated regularly as reports of new scams trickle in. It also includes tips and hints on how to avoid scams, and who to contact if you are the victim of a scam.”

The web page was developed as part of the unit's ongoing fraud awareness efforts. The Department is one of a number of partner organisations, led by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and the Commerce Commission, that helps to promote Fraud Awareness as part of the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce.

"Scams continue to be a big problem in our country. Research commissioned by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs last year revealed 15 per cent of New Zealand adults have been scammed or tricked out of money,” said Steve.

“If you receive unsolicited electronic mail or SMS text messages that assist or enable a person to obtain dishonestly, a financial advantage or gain from another person**, please submit a complaint on our Spam Complaints page, or, send your SMS text message to our “7726 (SPAM)” shortcode.”

“The more complaints we receive about unsolicited email and SMS messages, the more analysis and exposure we can give to the problem. We can consider our powers under the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 to investigate these complaints. We may also be able to use our domestic and international relationships in regard to email and SMS scams that originate from overseas.”

The Anti-Spam team will continue to develop 'Reported Scams' information over the coming months and they hope it will become a valuable resource for people to use.

* www.dia.govt.nz/Reported_Scams

** Refer to section 6(a) (ii) of the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007.

Media contact:

Trevor Henry, Communications Adviser, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 04 495 7211; cell 0275 843 679