WELLINGTON, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- More New Zealanders are falling victim to scams than ever, according to new research from the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) released on Monday.
In the last year, four in five people have been targeted by a scam and more than a quarter have fallen victim to one, up 7 percent from the year prior. Businesses are also feeling the brunt with 47 percent of them falling victim in the last year, up from 21 percent the year prior.
The research comes as the bank launches its annual Scam Savvy Week to raise awareness, help people know what to look for to spot scams and stay safer online.
BNZ Head of Financial Crime Ashley Kai Fong noted that scams are rising, year-on-year, saying "As they climb, so does the toll on New Zealanders and the trail of destruction left in the wake."
Scams don't just damage finances, they cause hurt, shame, and embarrassment to their victims and they erode trust and confidence in brands, businesses, and organizations, Fong said.
"The best defence against scams is you. If you know what to look for and can recognize the signs of a scam, you're less likely to fall victim. This Scam Savvy Week, we're urging people to take a look at the tools and refresh themselves so they can be better protected," said Fong.
Fong is also asking people to report when they've been targeted by a scam or fallen victim to one.