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Telephone share scammers active again

Monday 3rd March 2008

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A new wave of telephone share scams is underway in New Zealand again.

"The Securities Commission is getting an increased number of inquiries about overseas callers offering share deals," Director of Market Supervision, John Mulry says.

Telephone shares scams have occurred in New Zealand over the past ten years. They have taken many millions of dollars from New Zealanders.

"They particularly target people with small businesses and are convincing and persuasive. Hanging up on them is the best response. Talking to them gives them the opportunity to persuade people to send money. Money once sent is inevitably lost."

The fraudsters regularly change their tactics, their names, and the countries they operate from - to avoid detection and to keep the money rolling in.

It is common for them now to call people who bought bogus shares in one of the earlier scams. This time round they claim to have a buyer for their shares.

"Do not be tempted to take up these offers, they are all part of the scam," Mulry says, "Inevitably you will be pressured to send more money"

To check lists of these fraudsters visit the Commission's website http://www.seccom.govt.nz and Australian Securities and Investments Commission's website http://www.asic.gov.au. These lists are not exhaustive, the fraudsters change their names often.

If a caller is not on the list it does not mean they are genuine. All unsolicited calls should be treated with suspicion.

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