RBNZ warns against phone scam

Release date
09 October 2013

The Reserve Bank has issued a warning against fraudsters who are using the Reserve Bank's name in an effort to make their scam appear genuine.

The scammers typically tell their victims that they need to pay to process or release a tax refund, or a one-off bonus from the Government, or to receive some unclaimed money. The scammers often ask their victim for immediate payment via a website, which sends the money to the Philippines or India.

The scammers sometimes claim to work for the Reserve Bank, or the Inland Revenue Department, or Prime Minister John Key. They try to reassure their victims by claiming that the Reserve Bank can provide a "receipt number" or other proof that the "release payment" has been made.

The Reserve Bank's name is used in an effort to reassure their victims that the scam is genuine.

"These scammers are just trying to steal money. They're not genuine; they're fraudsters," a Reserve Bank spokesperson said.

"The Reserve Bank is not involved in tax refunds or tax collection. Tax refunds are managed by the Inland Revenue Department, which doesn't ask for payments in order to process refunds. You don't need to pay the Inland Revenue Department or any other government agency to receive a tax refund, bonus payment or receive unclaimed money."

The Reserve Bank strongly advises people to not answer questions from these scammers, not transfer money to them, and simply hang up the phone if they call.

Media Contact:
Angus Barclay
Communications Adviser
Phone (04) 471 3698 or 027 337 1102