How it works
CERT NZ is aware that the scammers use Google Ads to target potential investors. People searching for terms such as “term deposit comparison nz” are then shown an ad from a malicious site claiming to offer advice on investments. The site is used to harvest details on individuals.
The scammers then call the targets claiming to be from the investment team at a New Zealand-based financial institution, and send a fake investment prospectus. The target is followed up with numerous phone calls and emails with fake contracts and instructions on how to send money.
Some individuals have also been given a fake investment portfolio website to check their investments. This fake site is sophisticated and requires a login before showing a balance specific to the target.
None of the websites or email addresses used by the scammers are official sites of the banks.
What to do
If you believe you may have been caught up in this scam then immediately contact your bank, using their official phone line or website. The banks are aware of this scam and their fraud teams are on alert.
If you have seen or interacted with these malicious sites, report them to CERT NZ so that we can work to get them taken down.
As always, stay vigilant. It always pays to check directly with your bank before investing and double-checking that offers are real. Doing due diligence on an investment site is important. Checking the Financial Markets Authority page on choosing an advisor is a useful start.