Canterbury Police are urging the public to be vigilant for on-line and email scams in the wake of several recent complaints relating to fraudulent behaviour.
Detective Sergeant Craig Farrant from Canterbury Police’s Fraud Squad says people of all ages and backgrounds fall victim to false promises and fake offers.
“No one in the community is immune from being a target,” he says. “With the increased use of digital technology tech savvy people are increasing their risk and exposure to fraudulent online transactions and solicitations.”
The public service announcement follows follows calls from Microsoft New Zealand and NetSafe,, advising home computer users to be vigilant as locals continue to be targeted by scammers about fake viruses on their computers.
“The elderly are particularly vulnerable to financial exploitation by relatives and/or caregivers,” Sergeant Farrant says.
“Retirees may have spare capital for investment or travelling more and booking holidays online.
“They may also, because of their current situation, have started buying goods online or be new to online dating.
“This makes them more vulnerable to online scams. Not all scams that target this demographic are online.
“Often they have cash on them and as they are more likely to be home during the day could become the victim of fraudulent cold callers.”
According to Sergeant Farrant, if something seems too good to be true it probably is.
“Everyone needs to make sure an offer is genuine before they hand over any money whether it’s online or at your door,” he adds.
“In real life one does not simply ‘become’ the long lost relative of a Nigerian Prince or magically win a lottery that they have never entered.
“It is almost impossible to recover money once it has been transferred or paid out. This is why prevention is the best cure - take time to look at the ‘offer’ and ask questions.”
Information can also be provided anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.