Kiwis warned about becoming money mules
Bank customers are being warned about the dangers of transferring money for people they do not know.
The warning from the Bankers Association follows a money mule scam that affected an older Blenheim resident, who was convinced by overseas fraudsters that they had won a lottery as part of a group.
Scammers asked the customer to help pass on the group's administration fees. The customer received a large amount of money and was then asked to send on the funds to Canada.
Money in these situations was likely to have been stolen from another victim's account.
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"Mules" are enticed to help with the promise of making some money from helping to transfer the funds.
People may be lured in by a fake lottery, like with the Blenheim resident, or through fake romance or by being asked to donate to an overseas charity in exchange for a significant tax refund.
Association chief executive Karen Scott-Howman said the Blenheim case was particularly bad because the scammers had targeted an older person's trust and good will.
"If someone you don't know sends you money and asks you to transfer it overseas through a money transfer operator, it's very likely to be a scam.
"They'll be wanting to use your bank account for criminal purposes. The best thing to do is to contact your bank or the police."