The Financial Markets Authority of New Zealand warns against fraudster that impersonate the agency, with the goal of scamming innocent victims out of their capital.
As per the FMA, in an official statement released this Tuesday, the agency was contacted by a woman who had fallen victim to an impersonator. She tried to transfer a significant amount from New Zealand and China, when the fraudsters took it into their own hands.
Due to the COVID-19 induced pandemic, the woman was stranded in New Zealand with her family, and as such was in dire need of money. According to the FMA, the victim saw an ad on a news outlet, that allegedly offered money transfer services.
The transfer of funds was arranged via WeChat, and was sent to a bank in China, the Inner Mongolia region to be more specific. However, the money did not arrive to her, as was promised, and the woman was notified that the funds were frozen by the FMA. The reasons for this were money laundering suspicions.
After that, the victim was quickly contacted by the fraudster. A man claiming to be representing the FMA played the typical scammer move, and asked her for more money that was imperative in the unfreezing of her initial funds. The woman agreed to pay.
Liam Mason, FMA Director of Regulation released the following statement:
“We are trying to ascertain if the scammer is in New Zealand, as they appear to have had some local knowledge, and also if anyone else has been defrauded by them.”
This semi-new scam is reminiscent of what we saw earlier last month with BaFin’s fake emails. Mason added that these types of scams are especially effective against those that have been, in some way, affected by the pandemic.