Page last updated: 20 October 2023

Report a scam

Report the scam to the FMA if you suspect you've been targeted by an investment or financial scam.

On this page you will find the key warnings signs of a scam, how to avoid falling into an investment scam trap, what to do if you've been scammed and contact details for how to be in touch with us.

Report a scam


Targeted by an investment scam?

If you suspect you have been targeted by an investment scam, please contact us.

We will investigate the scam based on the information you provide alongside our own enquiries.  Please provide us with as much information as possible, including:

  • A brief overview of what’s happened, the amount you have lost, who was involved (name, websites etc) and how you were contacted.
  • If available, please provide any supporting information such as emails, screenshots, brochures, pdfs and any relevant links.

We may reach out to you for further information. 

We are unable to help with the recovery of your funds but we can give you advice or put you in touch with someone who can. We are limited in what we can do if the scammers are overseas, but if they are in New Zealand we can investigate and warn others.

Report a scam

What to do before you invest

Do a reality check:

  • Stop and ask yourself: "Is this for real?" Read the signs listed above and if any of them apply to your situation, write down your own list of reasons it could be a scam.
  • Don’t assume something is safe just because a family member, friend, workmate, church leader or other trusted contact recommends it – they may be victims too, or scammers themselves.
  • Don’t be tricked into thinking a company is legitimate because their advertising is on a credible website or social media platform, and be suspicious of ‘celebrity endorsements’.
  • Ask family or friends what they think. See what someone you know who’s good with money thinks about what your suspicions. Others can help you ‘wake up’ to the reality of a scam.
  • Check with your local Citizens Advice Bureau or budgeting advice service. They’re usually able to give free advice.

Do some digging:

  • Search for the company on NZ’s online Financial Service Providers Register. If it is not there, they probably can’t provide financial services in NZ.
  • Note any discrepancies in their bank details. If they say they’re in one country but their bank account is in a different country, it could be a scam.
  • Check the website registration details. Use a “who is” web tool to find out who registered it, and when. If it wasn’t in a country where the business says it is based, and/or was recently set up when they claim to have been operating for years, be very suspicious.
  • Reverse search any images on their website. Sites like let you copy and paste images into their search engine and they will tell you where else it’s been used.
  • Ask to see the Public Disclosure Statement (PDS) for the investment. Almost all legitimate investments offered in NZ must have some form of disclosure document.

Warning signs of an investment scam

  • They provide little or no information in writing.
  • They ask for unusual payments.  
  • They claim you’ve already made a profit despite not yet paying them any money.  
  • They keep wanting more money. 
  • They can’t or won’t pay you back. 
  • They claim returns are guaranteed. 
  • Everything is urgent, secret or the opportunity was unexpected.
  • They're on the FMA's warning and alerts list of known scams. 

Actions to take if you've been scammed

  1. Stop all contact with the scammer. If they phone, hang up. If they send emails or letters, don’t reply. If you maintain contact they will only try to get more money or information out of you. 

  2. Contact your bank immediately. They will have a policy to deal with fraud. If you have sent money through another bank or transfer service, contact the service you used to do that. 

  3. Tell family or friends what’s happened. It can be hard to admit that you’ve been tricked and lost money, but scammers rely on this shame and secrecy because it helps them keep scamming others. 

  4. Report the investment scam to the FMA

  5. Contact Victim Support via their website or by phoning 0800 842 846. They can provide free emotional and practical support and information. 

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