The Reserve Bank is warning people to avoid fraudsters who use its name to make their scams appear genuine.
The scammers usually tell their victims they need to make a small payment to get a large sum of money from a tax refund, charity donation, inheritance, government bonus or some type of unclaimed money.
They ask for immediate payment by internet money transfer, a remittance service or by entering credit card details into a form on a website.
"If a total stranger contacts you and offers a large sum of money in return for paying a small fee, then they're most likely trying to rip you off," a Reserve Bank spokesperson says.
Scammers try to reassure their victims by claiming to be from the Reserve Bank, by saying that documents have been lodged with the bank or that it can provide a "receipt number" or other proof that a "release payment" has been made.
"The scammers use our name in order to reassure victims that the scam is genuine - but the Reserve Bank is not involved with tax refunds, transfers of unclaimed money, verifying charity donations, paying inheritances, settling deceased estates or any of the other fake stories that scammers use to lure their victims."
The bank advises people to not transfer money or pay anyone in response to such phone calls and emails. They should simply hang up the phone and do not respond to their emails.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs publishes information on scams, including a description of the upfront payment scam.
- Manukau Courier
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