AUCKLAND (CU)_Customers of the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) have become the latest target of a text message scam under way in the Pacific island. Customers have been urged to be vigilant regarding the message which appeared to look genuine.
A woman who was not a BNZ customer also received the text but realised it was not legitimate and had therefore informed it to the bank. The message, which claimed to be from BNZ, informed customers that their account has been placed on hold due to numerous failed card payments. It then directed the recipient to verify their identity via a link provided, if they intended to continue using the bank’s services.
A spokesperson for BNZ noted that within such text scams often in circulation, the best advice is to never tap the link on such unsolicited messages. He added that the bank would never such text messages or emails requesting customers to log into a link. “But scammers hide fake websites behind genuine-looking links, so customers should always log in to internet banking through BNZ’s website or the BNZ app, not from links in text messages or emails,” he noted.
According to the spokesman, the message did not suggest that the bank’s systems had been breached in any way. Instead it only meant that its brand was being impersonated by a scammer. He advised those who have already tapped on the link or have been affected by the scam to secure their account by contacting the bank immediately.
According to latest figures published by CERT NZ, the government authority on cyber security, between 1 July and 30 September last year, 2072 reports of cyber-security incidents were reported in New Zealand, which resulted in a direct financial loss of $3.3 million. Of the incidents reported, those related to fraud and scams amounted to 488, a 25 per cent increase from the previous quarter.