This privacy week take some time to consider how you can control your personal information to avoid financial scams – says the Banking Ombudsman Nicola Sladden.
When someone asks you for your personal information, your login details or your account information, think about why they would need it and whether you’re comfortable sharing it.
Sometimes scammers call or email you, pretending to be organisations you trust, like your bank or your telecommunications company. For example, there has been recent media coverage of scam emails replicating Apple iTunes receipts and prompting users to enter credit card details. We’re also aware of cases where people were asked to download software onto their computers, and the scammers used this to observe login information.
Therefore, some healthy scepticism is required before giving out your personal information. If the contact is unexpected, end the call and contact your bank or telecommunications company directly. They keep good records and will know whether there has been recent legitimate activity on your account.
It is also worth thinking about what information you put online. These days, there is a wealth of information about people online that can be abused by scammers. It is a good time to take stock of your information, and how it is used, says Nicola Sladden.
For more information see our guide on scams Common scams targeting bank customers, Netsafe.org.nz, or www.consumerprotection.govt.nz.