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Scam targets Auckland immigrants

KELLY DENNETT
Last updated 17:17 01/08/2014

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Immigrants living in Auckland who get a phone call promising a "good citizen tax refund" from the Government should be aware that it's a scam, police warn.

Immigrants and business owners in Counties Manukau and east Auckland are being targeted by scammers pretending to be the IRD, and promising a tax refund for being a good citizen.

Calls are made from numbers that appear to be from within New Zealand.

However, Detective Sergeant Simon Beal said the calls originated from overseas, possibly from India or Malaysia.

The scammer asks the victim to prove they're a good citizen by making a payment or donation to an overseas bank account through Western Union or Moneygram.

"This is not something Inland Revenue would ever do and everyone asked to make payments through money transfer services should be wary," Beal said.

"Anyone who receives a call from Inland Revenue or any other government organisation should check on the department's website for the official phone number.

"If you're unsure if the call is legit, hang up and double-check by calling the organisation back using the number provided online."

Similar scams involve victims being threatened with arrest or deportation if they didn't make a bogus tax payment or being instructed to load money onto Prezzy cards before giving scammers the serial number.

Anyone who's been a victim of the scam should call police on 09 261 1300.

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