Currently Kiwis are losing nearly 200 million dollars annually to scams. It is an extraordinary amount which testifies to the decline of our newspapers’ readership, they regularly publishing warnings against accepting plausible sounding messages purporting to come mainly from banks, but also other activities.

Half a century back virtually every household had a daily newspaper delivered and people were thus better informed. But alas, today in an age of cell-phone obsession and pervading ignorance plus an obsession with social media, that’s no longer the case.

Both the government and the banks employ large numbers of people working on ways to overcome this problem but to date they’re fighting a losing battle.

What irritates me are the regular newspaper accounts of victims protesting at their banks refusal to compensate them for their personal gullibility in authorising the payments.

In the interim there’s no doubt the scamsters are winning and I anticipate the total losses will continue to climb in the foreseeable future.

One elementary step would be for the government to deliver a brochure to every household, warning against seemingly plausible email and other electronic communications and providing one’s bank details. Large scale fraud, thanks to digital dependency is now a huge international industry.

Bankrupt North Korea survives on it, its clever state computer operators last year cleaning up billions scamming the idiotic Bitcoin boom.

We’re certainly living in alarming times. Thank God for sport to maintain our sanity.


The scams work because there is no delay in responding. It is not that people are idiots per se, merely that they see an offer that appeals for what ever reason, ‘click’ on a computer screen button, enter their details and done. Tomorrow they may think about it… but it’s too late. All a bit like Trade Me and Ali Express really!

The brochure presupposes reading ability

Many people would hate this, but for their own good, the government should follow up that brochure with a deliberate fake scam attack. This would quickly find all those in need of further assistance. IT firms do this sometimes and its a great way to find those likely to click the links.

Sadly brochures won’t save a lot of the current generation. One has to be able to read for these to be any use..

It’s what happens when you have four decades plus of incompetent (and pampering to the elite) governance… .it’s all plain to see in the scale of dividends exported, sold on the false narrative overseas investment is good for the country….only true if they create new jobs and add value…just follow the money to see who’s winning….what we need is business that care about the community they extract their profits from…

We get more than one call a month either from someone pretending to be from a bank or telephone company. Never a NZ accent.

One simple solution to not falling to scams; is to not use your phone for either email or banking. The average “not so Smart” phone is simply not secure enough.

The biggest scam of all is perpetuated by the banks in the low interest rates for term deposits compared to mortgage rates.

Nigel Latta is doing a good show on the same subject but sadly, TVNZ is so abysmal that people are shying away and so the message is not so likely to get through. It is a good lesson.

I also heard one pundit suggest that the government should require all banks to compensate people who have been scammed. Soon they will be making stupidity compulsory.

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