Phone scammers pretending to be from Spark and epay are targeting people in Canterbury.
The scammers are demanding personal information, such as bank account details.
Senior Sergeant Paul Reeves is calling on individuals and local retailers to be wary of the scammers.
He said even the Rangiora Police Station had been called, with a person ringing the front desk pretending to be from Spark.
The person who answered the phone was aware it was a scam and hung up.
He said several police officers’ personal phones had also been called by the offenders.
The first scam relates to someone telephoning the victim stating they are from Spark, and that there is something wrong with their computer.
The offender then asks for bank account details and other personal information.
Ironically, one of the victims was asked by a scammer if they could provide their personal details in order to prevent scams.
The second relates to retailers being contacted by someone saying they are from epay, a company that provides prepay phone vouchers.
The caller states that they are testing the epay printing machines to ensure they are working correctly.
Retailers are asked to print out pre-pay vouchers from their printers, and read the voucher number to the offender over the phone, in order to check the printer is working correctly and that the vouchers are registering.
This is a variation on previous scams seen by police, where the scammers claim to be from a widely recognised organisation in order to gain the victim’s trust.
Police are urging people to have conversations with people targeted by these scams. This will help ensure they are aware of the tactics often used by scammers and prevent them from becoming victims.
Police are also enforcing the message to not engage with anyone on the phone if you think you are being scammed. Instead hang up immediately and report the incident. Anyone who thinks they have been a victim of a scam, in person, over the phone or online, should immediately report it to their bank, and then to the police.