Reserve Bank warns against scams

Release date
28 January 2014

The Reserve Bank is warning people to avoid fraudsters who use the Reserve Bank's name to try and make their scams appear genuine.

The scammers usually tell their victims that they need to make a small payment in order to get a large sum of money back from a tax refund, charity donation, inheritance, government bonus, or some type of unclaimed money. They ask for immediate payment by internet money transfer, a remittance service, or by entering credit card details into a form on a website.

"If a total stranger contacts you and offers a large sum of money in return for paying a small fee, then they're most likely trying to rip you off," a Reserve Bank spokesperson said.

The scammers try to reassure their victims by claiming to be from the Reserve Bank, or saying that documents have been lodged with the Reserve Bank, or that the Reserve Bank can provide a "receipt number" or other proof that a "release payment" has been made.

"The scammers use our name in order to reassure victims that the scam is genuine - but the Reserve Bank is not involved with tax refunds, transfers of unclaimed money, verifying charity donations, paying inheritances, settling deceased estates or any of the other fake stories that scammers use to lure their victims."

The Reserve Bank strongly advises people to not transfer money or pay anyone in response to these phone calls and emails. Simply hang up the phone and do not respond to their emails.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs publishes information about scams, including a good description of the upfront payment scam.

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