“We’ve seen more traditional scams through employment and romance ruses, but this time the offenders are targeting Kiwi business owners who are trying to go about their everyday business,” Beal said.

“In all of these money laundering scams, the scammer is based overseas and leads the victim to believe they are interested in doing legitimate business, despite their physical location.”

“We want to make business owners aware of the techniques used by these scammers to ensure they inform police at the earliest sign of a scam.”

General red flags for scams:

- Overseas contact via phone or email

- Rapport built up to a point where the victim feels like they can share personal information

- Information gained by the scammer is used to place pressure on victim to send money

- Money to be sent usually via Western Union or other money remitter to an overseas destination

- Usually romance or social networking scams


Red flags for business scams:

- Contact made by phone or email by an overseas or unknown buyer

- Too much money appears in the business account

- Purchaser then wants money transferred to overseas account (even though it came from an NZ account)

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