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‘ASB fraud and scam awareness campaign to help get New Zealanders ahead of scammers’

ASB has this week launched the first phase of a significant, ongoing and multi-layered fraud and scams awareness campaign, to help keep all New Zealanders informed and vigilant, as the first line of defence against scams.

David Bullock, ASB Executive General Manager Technology and Operations says “Online fraud and scams are a rapidly growing problem here and around the world, carried out by very sophisticated criminals and criminal organisations. Scams are constantly evolving and increasingly complex so it’s important New Zealanders’ knowledge of scams continues to evolve too.

“New Zealanders lost almost $200 million to scams last year and, from what we’re seeing, the majority of losses are authorised, meaning a victim has been manipulated into sending their money to a scammer themself, under a false pretence. Any one of us could get caught out by a scammer at any time and we know from the victims we unfortunately work with every day, the consequences of this can be devastating.

“This year at ASB we expect to spend almost $100 million on preventing financial crime, including fraud and scams, but we can’t do this on our own. This campaign aims to reach as many Kiwi as possible, wherever they consume their media, whether that is a phone screen, the six o-clock news or a newspaper, Instagram or TikTok, or during their morning commute.”

The campaign will include a TV ad featuring much-loved ASB characters Ben and Amy, with some common scam red flags and a reminder about sharing personal information. Attention grabbing content will also show up on billboards, digital advertising and an extensive social media campaign, which includes alerts about current wide-spread scams. It is intended to help people stop and think and be extra vigilant in their daily lives.

As the campaign rolls out, news content across online, the New Zealand Herald, TVNZ Breakfast, and regular updates from ASB fraud experts during 1News at Six will help to build more in-depth knowledge of fraud and scams, as well as spotlighting significant scams as they happen.

ASB has a team of more than 350 people dedicated to fighting fraud and financial crime. From the end of this month, its fraud line 0800 ASB FRAUD will operate 24/7 so customers can call any time and speak to someone directly with their concerns.

ASB is working closely with other banks, Police and other affected industries such as telecommunications companies on a range of significant fraud fighting initiatives.

“We are committed to doing all we can, within ASB and as part of the broader private sector and government eco-system, to protect New Zealanders, and we have systems and tools that are very effective at detecting and preventing criminals from directly stealing our customers’ money. For example, when you call ASB, two step verification allows us to send you a secure in-app notification to help verify your identity and confirm it’s you calling.

“Unfortunately, it is much more difficult to recognise and prevent customers themselves transferring their money to scammers and they are often coached or manipulated to get around the protections we have in place. This campaign is another really important tool in our toolbox, helping customers and all New Zealanders to keep themselves safe. We want to make New Zealand a hard place for scammers to do business.”

 

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