Online education

Newsable: Scam glut is a reminder to stay vigilant online

Oriini Kaipara has warned her Instagram followers not to fall victim to fraudulent ads using her face and name.

Oliini Kaipara/Instagram

Oriini Kaipara has warned her Instagram followers not to fall victim to fraudulent ads using her face and name.

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Online security experts say constant vigilance and better online education are the best ways to combat the plethora of online and offline fraud.

Last week, journalist Orini Kaipara was forced to take to Instagram to warn her followers against buying weight-loss or gambling products she supposedly “endorses.”

Text scams also appear to be another routine practice, with allegedly common scams from Waka Kotahi urging recipients to pay overdue speeding fines. increase.

According to a recent report from CERT, the government’s cybersecurity watchdog, New Zealanders lost about $20 million to online scammers in 2022.

read more:
*Please be aware of scams that encourage you to update your license plate.
*Coronavirus: Kiwi warned to be extra cautious as virus-related scams rise
* Online banking fraud hits Northland

Andrew Chen, a senior research fellow at the Koi Tū think tank, told Newsable that while there could be a lot of interest in specific scams that lured more people, they didn’t see a surge in fraud activity overall. Told. .

“We haven’t seen a significant increase in fraud levels compared to other periods,” he says.

“At the end of the day, these aren’t very sophisticated scams because, thanks to unit economics, you don’t have to cheat a lot of people to make it worthwhile.

“They just spam as many people as they can, and it costs very little to get the message out that even if one person gives you money, it will probably be a positive return on your investment. ”

Chen says better education about what to look out for is probably the best tool for limiting the damage scammers can do to people.

A rough rule of thumb, he says, is:

Ironically, some people may actually be too cautious about identifying scams. Last August, Waka Kotahi sent a letter to dozens of people who had overpaid their registration fees and received refunds.

At least 150 of them contacted Waka Kotahi saying they thought they were too smart and thought they had been scammed.

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