Cyber crime reports increased 12% in the first three months of the year and financial losses were up 66% to almost $6 million.
New Zealanders are being warned to stay vigilant as cyber crime increases and financial loses mount.
The latest statistics from Cert NZ show cyber crime reports increased 12% in the first three months of the year compared to the previous quarter, and financial losses were up 66% to almost $6 million.
The government cyber-security agency said as well as more traditional romance scams, cyber criminals were using new tactics to rob victims of investments.
Search engine ads and professional-looking documentation were being used to trick people looking to invest money, Cert NZ director Rob Pope said.
“One scam campaign in February cost New Zealanders millions of dollars in a very short time, which reflects how quickly someone can lose their assets if they’re not alert.
New AI-powered chatbots are creating new tools for cyber criminals, Norton Antivirus’ systems engineer Dean Williams says.
“In general, the key is to always be vigilant. Take your time when you see investment opportunities online, verify exactly who you’re talking to, don’t give away your personal information and keep yourself secure online.”
The report also covered the emerging trends of artificial intelligence (AI) being used in scams.
“AI can be used to write more convincing phishing emails in various languages, to create malicious code, and to even impersonate people in live chats,” Pope said.
While AI was making scams easier to create, the tactics were the same as scammers had used for years, meaning the advice on avoiding them was unchanged.
Top tips to avoid a scam:
- don’t believe promises of over-the-top investment returns;
- triple-check every company before investing in them; and
- don’t reply to investment opportunities that arrive via Whatsapp or other message platforms.