New Zealand’s financial authority (FMA) house issued warning bells regarding a sharp rise in incidences involving investment scams involving entities masquerading as legit businesses in NZ in this Pandemic. Between the 1st and 5th of April this year, the financial authority issued at least 60 warnings regarding the stated investment scams.
Of those reported, 21 (34 percent) were impersonators, whose names bore a similarity to those of legit businesses in NZ, including fake social media accounts and webpages. In comparison, under the same timeline in 2019, the body issues 40 such warnings, with just four being actual impersonators.
As such, the FMA asks New Zealanders to be cautious and look out for signs that might indicate that a scam is in the pipeline. That includes international phone calls mixed up with addresses in NZ or domain names not matching the content of accompanying webpages. Other clues had the promise of a high return investment and lots of ambiguity regarding what is offered.
The Markets authority is currently running a scam awareness campaign as part of its Fraud Awareness Week that will run from the 15th to the 21st of November.
Liam Mason, the FMA’s regulations director, stated that warnings against fraud and scams have been of the highest priority for the body during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This is when consumers are vulnerable to high investment scams.