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Key message - say no to scammers
Fraud Awareness Week 2009 kicked off on 2 March with the aim of raising awareness about how to spot scams, how to protect against them and how to report them (via the Scamwatch website) to keep others safe.
The week focuses on four stories of scam ‘victims’. These stories are based on real scam scenarios and reports. The characters are portrayed by models for the purposes of the advertising campaign.
Detective Sergeant Dave Kennedy, Identity Intelligence Unit, Police National Headquarters, says the proliferation of scams continues as do the different ways people can be ripped off.
“These days almost everyone at some stage is going to be the target of a scam, be it via the phone, the internet or through their credit cards. Unfortunately these are times that we live in. Worse, the scammers often prey on older people and other vulnerable members of our communities.
“Once they’ve given away the money there’s often nothing police can do, particularly if the scam has originated overseas. We need to do our bit to help educate people about how to protect themselves in the first place,” says Dave.
Fraud Awareness Week is run by a joint-agency group, led by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and the Commerce Commission. Several private sector organisations are also involved.
The key message for people is not to respond to scammers. Don’t engage, don’t give them details, don’t respond at all. “If we can help get that message through, it will save a lot of heartache for people,” says Dave.
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