Phone, email scams on rise

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 05/12/2013

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Scams are doing the rounds in South Canterbury again.

Timaru police have received numerous calls over the past two days in relation to three scams in particular.

One of them, which is circulating via email, implies it is from the New Zealand Police and asks recipients to pay a fine.

Another of the scams involves people ringing landline phones to tell the resident there is a problem with their computer, which the caller can help fix.

The third scam appears as a text message, telling the recipient they have won £2.5 million.

NetSafe executive director Martin Cocker said people should treat each of the scams with caution. It was unlikely South Canterbury was being singled out as a target, he said.

However, the landline scam usually operated from a call centre by ringing blocks of numbers in one area.

"You find you get a blitz in one area - parts of the South Island could be targeted.

"Email scams are much more broad-based. They are not targeted at anyone in particular. The text [scam] could be either, but probably it's a general scam that's hitting New Zealand [cellphone] numbers."

People with elderly parents should ensure they know the scams are circulating and inform them of what to do if approached.

Mr Cocker said anyone contacted by phone scammers should "tell them you know it's a scam and hang up".

If anyone has let a scammer access their computer remotely they should get a technician to check it.

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- The Timaru Herald

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