What is an investment scam?
A scam is a plan to trick someone out of something valuable, usually money.
Investment scams promise a lot of money from buying and selling investments such as shares, bonds, currency and precious metals.
Pyramid schemes offer profits based on payments from new recruits, and the money you get back depends on continued recruitment of new members.
Scammers can work alone or in groups. They target groups such as churches, and individuals including senior citizens. They can even be people you know and trust, from within your own community.
Scammers can be friendly but also impatient, threatening and abusive. They often keep asking for more money, but then won’t pay it back easily, if at all. In the end, they may claim the money is gone and stop all contact with you.
It can be very hard to get any money back. That’s why it’s important to know the signs of a scam, and what to do when you spot one.
What are some warning signs?
What you can do
Where to get help
Government agencies may be able to help.
Financial Markets Authority
Phone 0800 434 566, Email email@example.com
Phone 0800 943 600, Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone 111 if you are in danger, or phone 105 to report fraud
Others you may be able to talk to
Citizens Advice Bureau
Phone 0800 367 222
Visit local communitylaw.org.nz
Phone 0800 842 846