ASB's unsolicited calls confuse scam-wary customers

ASB's unsolicited calls confuse scam-wary customers
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A bank's unsolicited calls have created confusion for customers on the lookout for scammers.

Some ASB share trading customers received phone calls on Friday afternoon asking if they would like to receive a link to an online presentation.

The calls were legitimately from the bank.

The Banking Association has asked for an explanation, given that sending text links to bank customers was not encouraged.

Research from the Bank of New Zealand showed that nine out of 10 New Zealanders had been targeted by a scam in the past year.

Government cyber security arm CERT senior analyst Sam Leggett told Morning Report it was a methodology often used by scammers.

He said it created an issue when legitimate companies sent out similar-looking correspondence themselves.

CERT's advice is to be cautious about responding to any online or text offers from anyone - including legitimate services.

Leggett said big organisations were sending many text messages to customers for "genuine reasons", for which they often used tech services.

"...those messages will come from short codes, either three or four digits. If you've got a text message that claims to be from one of these reputable organisations, but it's come from an individual mobile number or even an individual mobile number from Australia, that's a good indication that you might be dealing with a scam."

He said customers should also take a quick look at the link they were being asked to click.

The next step would be to contact the organisation directly and let it know about the text, email or phone call.

He said scams were coming from all over.

"It's really easy to set up mobile numbers with software, or even simply buying prepaid preloaded SIM cards and starting to send messages out.

"So while SIM cards can be purchased within New Zealand, and text messages can be sent from within New Zealand to other New Zealanders, it's also very possible for someone, anywhere around the world to use software to spin our mobile numbers that look like they're in New Zealand as well. Unfortunately, it's really coming from all over."