Rise in scams impersonating NZ businesses during COVID-19

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has reported a steep rise in the number of investment scams attempting to impersonate legitimate New Zealand businesses since the emergence of COVID-19.

FMA research has also shown one in five New Zealanders have been targeted by investment scams.

From 1 April to 5 November 2020, the FMA issued 61 warnings about investment scams, of which 21 (or 34%) were impostor scams, where the names and details of legitimate businesses are unlawfully used by scammers to trick investors, such as fake websites or social media accounts. By comparison, in the same timeframe during 2019, the FMA issued 40 warnings and only four (10%) were impostor scams.

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