Educating Kiwis about common online scams

Nick McDonnell, Head of Public Policy (New Zealand and Pacific Islands) – October 13, 2021

 

As part of our ongoing work to protect Kiwis and educate them about common online scams, today we’ve partnered with Netsafe, New Zealand Police and CERT NZ to launch an education campaign helping New Zealanders spot scammers and protect themselves from common online financial harms.

Launching across Facebook and Instagram, the New Zealand-designed ‘SCAM Gallery,’ (Society of Con Artists And Manipulators), profiles six common online scams through video-based exhibits. An expert curator – ‘Sam the Scamologist’, explains how each scam is carried out and what can be done to avoid them.

 

Image taken from the SCAM Gallery campaign video addressing impersonation scams.

Developed by Facebook in conjunction with Christchurch-based agency Not Another™, Netsafe, CERT NZ, and New Zealand Police, the campaign focuses on the most common  scams that have adapted from the offline world to the online world. From fake promotions, to romance, phishing and investment, Kiwis are not immune to scammers. Recent figures from Netsafe show that last year, New Zealanders lost nearly $11.6M to scams.

Over the past 18 months, people in New Zealand have been spending more time online to connect with family and friends, run their business and seek entertainment. We know some of these scam techniques are not unique to Facebook, but we want to do more to help our community spot these commonplace scams.

We hope the SCAM Gallery will equip our online community with the know-how to identify and avoid some of the most common scams before they cause real emotional and financial harm.

Addressing the importance of awareness of scams  Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Dalziel, Officer in Charge of the Cybercrime Unit at NZ Police said, “We know education plays an important role in keeping people safe online and we welcome Facebook’s efforts to help educate Kiwis so they can learn more about how to spot a scam and protect themselves.”

“We know scammers are often opportunists and will keep trying until they are successful. And if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Safety organisation and long-term Facebook safety advisory member, CEO of Netsafe, Martin Cocker also shared his support for this initiative and outlined the impact of scams to Kiwis. “Unfortunately, we know the reports to Netsafe represent only a small percentage of the money lost each year. For a long time, people have relied just on common sense and intuition to protect themselves online. However, with online scams becoming increasingly sophisticated, more awareness is needed, which is why we’re glad to be part of such an important campaign designed to help the community stay safe.”

The six scams ‘exhibited’ in the SCAM Gallery are:

  • Prizes and promotions
  • Romance
  • Online shopping
  • Phishing
  • Impersonation
  • Investment.

To visit Facebook’s SCAM Gallery and learn more about how to protect yourself from scams, go to www.scamgallery.co.nz. The campaign tips and advice are also available in te reo Māori.

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