From this week scam education brochures and wallet cards will be available at Spark stores around the country and dispatched with every new phone purchased from Spark. The brochures will also be available in branches of Age Concern and Senior Net.
The brochure provides simple guidance on how to spot a scam, how to stay safe, and what to do if you think you have been scammed, including a six-step infographic. The brochure will also be translated in simplified Chinese, to assist the Chinese community which has recently been targeted by scammers posing to be from the Chinese embassy.
This work is important as scams continue to be an increasing issue and cold calling scams in particular are still the most reported scam to Netsafe. With Spark being one of the largest digital services companies in New Zealand, it’s unsurprising that a large number of reports involve Spark. Scams are a complex issue that requires a co-ordinated approach across sectors, and it’s promising to see Spark taking proactive steps to raise awareness of scams to help protect their customers.
Cold call scams are consistently the most reported scam to Netsafe. 3,719 reports relating to cold call scams were made in 2017 with reported losses of $2.6M. In 2017, $10.1M in scam and fraud losses were reported to Netsafe. Losses in 2018 have already exceeded last year, with over $12.5M in losses being reported in just the first quarter of 2018.
Spark has increased its efforts to reduce scamming activity and raise awareness for customers this year, and the brochure release is part of a series of proactive initiatives put in place this year. Spark has also trained frontline staff to be able to help front-foot scam education with customers on the shop floors – ensuring staff are prepared to discuss methods in which a customer can protect themselves and their family. In April, Spark launched a webpage that lists real-time scam alerts, so that customers are able to see the latest reports of scammers posing to be from Spark. Spark also now includes a safety reminder on the bottom of customer bills.
Below is an image included in the scam brochure: