How to stay money safe this summer

Last updated 13:21 09/12/2013

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The New Zealand Bankers' Association is warning people to be on the lookout for fraud and scams which could put a damper on the holiday season.

"Don't let fraudsters spoil this special time of the year," NZBA chief executive Kirk Hope said.

"Whether we're shopping or away on holiday, it pays to take care."

It was a good idea for people to tell their bank if they were heading overseas, Hope said.

"That way, transactions you make in another country won't surprise your bank.

"It's also important that your bank has up-to-date contact details in case they need to get hold of you."

Bank cards, online shopping and mobile banking can all be targeted by scammers.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment figures show Kiwis were swindled out of almost $4 million last year.

Four thousand scams were reported, and more than 700 people lost money.

Bank card safety:
- Guard your card and treat it like cash.

- Never tell anyone your Pin number or password- not even your family.

- Shield the Pin pad with your hand to prevent criminals from "shoulder surfing" or using hidden cameras.

Online safety:
- Don't use links that appear to take you to your bank's website - type in the address in full.

- Check you have a secure connection, which is shown by a padlock symbol, and that the website address starts with "https" rather than "http".

- Don't use public computers and public wi-fi for internet banking.

- Shop with trusted retailers.

- Keep your anti-virus and firewall software up to date.

Mobile safety:
- Only download apps from trusted sources.

- Keep your device and apps updated.

- Use your phone's password lock feature.

- Change your passwords periodically, and make sure they are not easily guessable.

- Use anti-virus software if available.

- Contact your bank immediately if you lose your phone.

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- Fairfax Media

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