Scammers target Indian community again

Venkat Raman

The Indian High Commission based in Wellington has warned members of the Indian community against scammers who demand money posing themselves as officials of the Diplomatic Mission.

A communique received at press time said that the caller ‘threatens’ saying that the Visa/Residency application of Indian nationals (i.e. the person at the other end) would be rejected unless a certain amount of money is deposited in a specified bank account or transfer through Western Union.

“The number displayed on the receiver’s phone is that of the High Commission, namely (04) 4736390. The High Commission wishes to advise everyone that no such calls are being made by the High Commission. These are fake calls from scamsters with a view to extort money. We urge everyone to be alert and not to pay any money and to report any such calls to the New Zealand Police immediately,” the Communique said.

Another Type

Sometime ago, the Office of Ethnic Communities had warned people against a new telephone scam targeting ethnic communities in New Zealand.

The scammers pose as Immigration New Zealand (INZ) officials and call individuals to discuss ‘problems’ with their residency, suggesting that the person may be considered an illegal immigrant.

They then request sums of money to be paid or threaten deportation.

New Zealand Police constantly investigate such complaints.

“Scams like this are targeted and can seem credible. Do not give out account details over the phone unless you made the call and you trust that the number you called is genuine. Ask for a name and number so that you can call them back and ensure that the number is genuine.

“If you suspect that you have given away your credit card details to a scammer, call your bank immediately so that they can suspend your account. Ask to speak to bank staff specialising in security or fraud for assistance,” a Police official said.

Credit card companies can reverse a fraudulent transaction if contacted soon enough.

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