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Supporting family and friends who have been scammed

Page last updated: 14 Nov 2018

Media release
MR No. 2018 – 47
14 November 2018

How do you support a family member or friend who you believe are being scammed?

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is highlighting the case of ‘Simon’ and his father-in-law ‘Richard’ as part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise’s Fraud Awareness Week.

Simon found out that his father-in-law Richard was investing tens of thousands of dollars with an overseas-based company which had cold-called him.  Simon advised Richard that they were scammers. It took several attempts by Simon to convince Richard he was being scammed. Richard lost $80,000 over two to three months.

Simon’s story reveals the dilemma often facing the families of scam victims. His case is also just one of a rising number of scam complaints the FMA has received over the last year.

Simone Robbers, FMA Acting Director of External Communications and Investor Capability, says, “It’s important to act sensitively if you’re trying to convince a family member or friend that they’re being scammed. This may take some time. Explain to them that they should stop all contact with the scammers, help them contact their bank immediately to stop payments and report the scam to us.”

The FMA’s website has advice on what to do if you or someone you know is being scammed.

Before investing, the FMA urges investors to do their homework

  • Check your provider is on FMA’s list of licensed or authorised providers, markets and individuals
  • If a stranger rings or emails you about an investment opportunity, hang up or don’t respond
  • Do not invest via offshore, online businesses

Edwin Mitson
021 702 036

Simon (not his real name) contacted us in September 2018. The company involved is based overseas and not licensed or regulated in New Zealand.