Stamp out scams

Help us put pressure on the government to introduce a national scam framework that holds businesses to account. 

Sign the petition

Sign the petition

Scams are on the rise and ruining lives, with over a million households in New Zealand targeted by scammers in the past year. But New Zealand is falling behind countries like Australia, the UK and Singapore when it comes to scam protections. 

Join our call for: 

  • Banks to refund scam victims for authorised and unauthorised scam payments, unless the victim has been grossly negligent.  
  • A national anti-scam framework requiring banks, telcos and digital platforms to take action to address scams and outlining their liability if they fail to meet their obligations.
  • A centralised anti-scam centre where relevant organisations work together to keep us safe.  

The amount of money lost to scams in New Zealand so far this year: 

Help us stamp out scams

The staggering cost of scams in NZ

Anyone can fall victim to a scam. In New Zealand, roughly: 

  • $200 million was stolen from scam victims in 2023  
  • 1 million households were targeted by scammers in the past year
  • 185,000 households were scammed out of money in the past year  
  • 55,000 New Zealanders were repeat victims of fraud and cybercrime.  

The government needs to protect us 

Currently, New Zealanders have few protections if they fall victim to a scammer. 

Anti-scam centres are being run by governments in Singapore and Australia, but the New Zealand government has left it to businesses to regulate themselves here. It’s not working.  

Recently, our government wrote to banks asking them to give customers better protection from scams and fraud. We don’t think asking is good enough. We need a government-led response to stamp out scams that forces banks, digital platforms and telcos to do better, or face consequences.  

New Zealanders are paying the price for banks’ inaction

We think a lack of investment in technology and innovation in the banking sector means scam victims are paying the price. The initial findings of the Commerce Commission's market study into personal banking confirms that the major banks have been focused on maintaining profit margins, leading to underinvestment elsewhere. 

In 2023, banks reported record profits of $7.21 billion after tax. Some of these profits could, and should, have been re-invested in scam prevention measures and victim reimbursement.  

Total scam losses in New Zealand for 2023 came to around $200 million, which is about 2.8% of the banks' collective profits. They can afford it. 

Sign the petition

How do our rules and regulations compare internationally?

What is New Zealand doing?

  • SMS-blocking: New Zealand has no centralised effort to filter the content of text messages for scams. However, some telcos are currently rolling out anti-scam filters. 
  • Confirmation of payee: The rollout of confirmation of payee is set to start by the end of 2024, but the NZBA won’t say when consumers will be covered by the service. 
  • Smarter Payments: New Zealand does not have a modern payments infrastructure – such as the one operating in the UK since 2008 – meaning we are unable to easily adopt cutting edge security technologies. 
  • Unauthorised access reimbursements: New Zealand’s reimbursement policy for unauthorised access is good, if banks interpret it correctly, but not as good as the UK’s. 
  • Authorised push payment reimbursement: New Zealand consumers have been failed when it comes to authorised push payment fraud, with no confirmation of payee, and no reimbursement. In the UK, consumers have both. 
  • Anti-scam centres: The first steps have been made toward an anti-scam centre in New Zealand, but success here will require a government-led service, not one run by banks. 

What to do if you think you have been scammed 

It's not easy to detect and prevent scams. Scammers are invisible, sophisticated and adapt to increase their chances of success. 

A scam can take many forms: calls, text messages and ads leading you to fake sites that look like the real deal. From investment opportunities to online marketplace transactions and rogue charities – scammers are good at what they do.  

If you think you have been scammed, act quickly and follow these four steps: 

  1. Stop all contact with the scammer: Hang up the phone, stop replying to emails, letters or direct messages. If the scam originated online, block the scammer from contacting you. 
  2. Contact the bank or platform you sent money through: The sooner your bank knows what has happened the faster the bank can act. 
  3. Do not make any more payments: Many people are repeat victims of scam activity. Don't give money to anyone who contacts you and promises to help you get your money back. 
  4. Report it: Reporting a scam or attempted scam helps to protect others. Many organisations have a role to play in protecting people from online scams and spam. Learn more in CERT NZ’s guide on where to report a scam

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