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Know how to spot a scam

Everyone thinks "I'll never fall for that", until they do.

Our customers' stories

Would I fall for

How Sandra lost $80,000

61-year-old Sandra received a phone call from Daniel who said he was from her internet provider. Daniel said that Sandra had a problem with her internet connection and if she didn't act soon, it would be disconnected. She agreed to let Daniel help her, and downloaded and installed a computer program that gave Daniel access to her computer. Daniel also asked her to read out the special code he claimed he texted to her. So, Sandra read out the number in the text to him.

That day, Daniel scammed Sandra out of more than $80,000.

Would you hang up?

Test yourself

How Tim lost $950

35-year-old Tim got an email that seemed to come from ASB labelled as 'Urgent'. The email informed him there was an unrecognised login to his account. It said he needed to verify his account details by clicking on a link in the email and entering his login details. Tim was worried that his account would be blocked and immediately clicked the link to verify his account details - so he entered his username and password.

A few weeks later, Tim was scammed out of his holiday savings of $950. 

Would you recognise a phishing email?

How to stay safe

Scammers may sound very convincing so be aware ASB will never call or email and ask you to confirm your banking password, or the PIN number to your accounts or credit card. 

  • Never give out your bank account details to anyone - over the phone, over email or in-person

  • Never transfer money to someone you don't know

  • Don't download any software on to your computer or device that someone on the phone has asked you to

  • Simply hang up on any unsolicited calls if they start asking you to take action like send money, or log in to your banking

  • Never share passwords or PIN numbers with strangers and even friends/family

  • Don't click on any links in an email directing you to your banking login

  • Get the name of the organisation they (the potential scammers) work for, look up the publicly listed number and call them back

  • Forward any suspicious emails or texts (send us a screenshot) to phishing@asb.co.nz, then delete it

Common types of scams

1. Phone scams (or remote access scams)

When someone over the phone (claiming to be from a company you know) tries to get access to your computer. Hang up immediately! You can always look up the number and call them back.

2. SMS & email scams (phishing)

Messages might include links to various fraudulent websites that look like ASB's website, or ask you for personal information.

3. Romance or dating scams

Not everyone you meet online is who they claim to be. They may set out to steal your heart... and all your money.

4. Job scams

If you see a job opportunity that asks you to pay something to get started, don't pay and don't apply! They lure you in with a 'get rich quick' promise.

5. Investment scams

This could include real estate, share and stock promotions, foreign currency trading, and even cryptocurrency. If someone contacts you out of the blue with an offer, don't fall for it.

6. Other scams

Be sceptical of everything. Don't fall for those 'just pay shipping' offers, or a prince claiming you're his long lost relative with a large inheritance for you.

Keeping children safe from scammers

Teach them about passwords, and why they need to be secret

  • Help your children choose strong passwords
  • Explain why they need to keep passwords to themselves
  • Don't even share passwords with best friends

Use extra security if there's money involved

If your children are using online banking, iTunes or other buying sites, make sure they use two-factor authentication if they have a mobile. Then, even if someone guesses their password, they won't be able to access the account.

Stay involved - even if it's not cool

  • Be aware of your child's online activity, and maintain some control
  • Connect to them on social media sites so you can see what they're doing
  • Talk about their online experiences and watch for new friends who ask for lots of personal details
  • Activate parental controls on their computer and mobile to filter content and block inappropriate sites

Make sure they understand in-app purchases

It's easy to rack up a big bill with in-app purchases - especially for young kids. Make sure they understand what they mean, and agree on limits.

Vulnerable adults

Some family members can be too trusting, leaving them vulnerable to scams. They can assume people in need or official-looking online messages are genuine.

  • Stay involved in their day-to-day life, and chat about what's happening
  • Understand their normal spending, and talk about anything unusual

Some members of your family may need more help

  • Consider taking on the power of attorney so you can operate their accounts for them
  • Choose accredited care givers, meet them and ask for a Police clearance

Things to remember

We're here to help

If you're worried that your banking has been compromised, call us on 0800 ASB FRAUD (0800 272 372), or +64 9 306 3000 if you're overseas.

If you need to chat about your account security in general, call 0800 803 804.

Suspicious email, phone call or text?

Forward the email or text to phishing@asb.co.nz and delete the message.

On the phone? Hang up straight away. Then call us on 0800 ASB FRAUD. 

Stay safe

  • Don't give out any personal details
  • Don't make any 'urgent' payments to someone you don't know
  • Don't download any software on to your computer or device that someone on the phone has asked you to
  • Hang up immediately
  • Delete that email or text

ASBHow to spot a scam - Email and phone scams | ASB