New Zealand FMA Warns of Scammers Impersonating Regulator

New Zealand Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has warned of scammers who targeting people affected by COVID-19 impersonating as a government agency.

08 September, 2020 | AtoZ Markets – Recently, the number of online scams associated with COVID-19 has increased significantly. Scammers are targeting citizens, businesses, and public institutions with well-organized fraud schemes. Scammers use the coronavirus pandemic for their own benefit, and victims face potential damage.

FMA Warns of Scam Targeting People Affected by COVID-19

New Zealand FMA warns that scammers are impersonating government agencies and targeting people affected by COVID-19. According to the watchdog, the latest victim of money transfer scams, a woman, contacted FMA on August 5.

She said that her family was stuck in New Zealand due to the COVID-19 pandemic and needed money for living. She saw community news ads offering money transfer services. It provided a money transfer service via WeChat to a bank in Inner Mongolia. So, she tried to send money from China to New Zealand.

Later, she also received a call from a man disguised as an FMA employee. Imposter said the FMA froze her money on money laundering suspicion. Imposter also claimed that she would have to pay more to release the original amount. Unfortunately, she paid. But the money never arrived.

Liam Mason, FMA Director of Regulation, said: “We are trying to ascertain if the scammer is in New Zealand, as they appear to have had some local knowledge, and also if they have defrauded anyone else.”

“Be sure to only transfer money through businesses on New Zealand’s Financial Service Providers Register. Don’t fall for the scammers’ line that you must pay more money to release your original funds. And know that the FMA would never freeze money remittance or ask you to pay any money,” Mason added.

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