Scammers promise refunds, rewards

17:00, May 14 2014
Val Harris
HANG UP: Budgeting advisor Vai Harris doesn’t want to see any more people lose their money to phone scammers. 

People are continuing to receive hoax phone calls telling them they are eligible for a tax refund or reward.

Vai Harris, a budgeting adviser at Vaiola Pacific Island Budgeting Service in Mangere, says she has been approached by two people who have received the calls over the past few months.

The callers pretend to be from the Inland Revenue Department and ask for a donation in order to release the money. One woman was told she would receive $3640 in return for a $199 donation, Harris says.

"After she paid that they asked for two more donations."

The woman has now paid the scammers nearly $3000 and has not received a cent in return, Harris says.

She has referred the woman to the police but wants to warn other people that the scammers are still out there.

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"It's too late for her but I don't want to see any more of these cases. This lady has really saved hard and now all that money is gone."

An Inland Revenue spokesperson says the IRD will never ask a customer to pay money in order to receive money.

The department is aware of the scam and says customers should ignore the calls, the spokesperson says. "If anyone has replied to those behind these scams and given money or their personal details, they should contact their bank or credit card provider immediately."

Go to ird.govt.nz/news-updates/like-to-know-suspicious-emails.html for more information.

Manukau Courier