Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith is encouraging Kiwis to get smarter with their data when it comes to sharing personal information online.
Today marks the start of Australasian Consumer Fraud Week and last year alone, Kiwi’s lost an estimated NZ$8 million to scams, and more than 8,100 incidents were reported to NetSafe.
“The focus of this week is on the importance of protecting your personal information to prevent identity theft,” Goldsmith adds.
Australasian Consumer Fraud Week is run in conjunction with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and the Commerce Commission.
“If you haven’t stopped and thought about how you keep your personal information secure, chances are you could be leaving it wide open for scammers to use for fraudulent purposes,” he adds.
Goldsmith says Consumer Fraud Week also builds on the awareness raised during the recent Privacy Awareness Week, which focused on the importance of keeping private information secure in this data-heavy digital age.
“There are some simple things we can all do to protect ourselves,” he adds.
“These include keeping our personal details secure, thinking twice about what we say and do in an online environment, keeping our mobile devices and computers secure, choosing our passwords carefully, and being aware of any requests for personal details or money.
“It can be difficult to stay one step ahead of scammers but there are ways you can try and protect yourself as much as possible.
“Be aware of the common scams and get in touch with Scamwatch if you or someone you know may have been scammed.”