'Airfare' scam targets Southlanders

18:59, May 28 2014

Southlanders appear to have been hit by an airfare deal scam that offers prizes if they give out credit card details.

Invercargill resident Ken Poole said he had a phone call claiming to be from Air New Zealand and he was in line for some fantastic prizes.

Initially the Invercargill pensioner heard a female voice on the end of the line before he followed instructions to push one on his home phone yesterday.

"Some joker claiming to be from Air New Zealand then came on the line and asked me if I was over 30," he said. "I said 'yes, I am'."

Poole was then asked if he had a credit card.

"I told him I didn't have a credit card and he just hung up. Bugger him - even if I did have one I wouldn't tell anyone over the phone like that."

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Poole said the scam must be going around because a female friend had also received a call from "Air New Zealand" offering airfare credit.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said she was told by a man on the phone she had won an Air New Zealand competition and to claim her $995 airfare credit, needed to provide her credit card details.

"He asked if I had entered an Air New Zealand competition. I said I had on Grabaseat," she said.

"That's when he said 'you have won $995 off your next overseas flight'."

However, when the man asked if she had a credit card, the woman hung up. "Bang went the phone," she said.

Both Poole and his friend have warned people not to fall for the scam.

An Air NZ spokeswoman said the company had been made aware members of the public were receiving automated telephone calls claiming to be from the airline. In some cases the callers were offering prizes or credits for future travel to tempt people to provide personal details such as credit-card numbers.

These calls were not from Air New Zealand and the company strongly advised any member of the public who received a call not to hand over information and to hang up immediately.

The Southland Times