Young at risk of social media scammers

Published: Thu 17 Oct 2019 10:07 AM
Young New Zealanders are being urged to check their social media privacy settings to prevent scammers hijacking their accounts.
Bronwyn Groot, Fraud Education Manager at the Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) is highlighting the risk as part of Cyber Smart Week, run by fellow government agency CERT.
Groot says that no-one is immune from being scammed, and parents should not assume their teens or young adult children are tech-savvy enough to protect themselves fully online.
Open social media accounts allow scammers to steal photos to use in other frauds, and gather information about a person to use in “social engineering”.
Groot gives the example of a young PA or accounts person who might receive an email that looks like it is from their boss, greeting them by name and asking them about an activity they posted about at the weekend, and then asking them to transfer money to a certain account.
“The message is personal and looks genuine so the young person doesn’t think twice about meeting their boss’s request,” says Groot.
Messaging apps can also be hacked.
“I heard of one case of a 21-year-old whose Messenger was hijacked and a request for money sent to all his friends. The language used even sounded like him,” says Groot.
In another case, Groot was called by a family member whose relative was caught in a romance scam. A man had approached the 20-year-old through her open facebook page, claiming to an American soldier stationed in Afghanistan. He won her trust, then claimed to be in hospital and in need of money.
“She was sending him most of her wages until I was able to track the messages and show her they were coming from a person in Nigeria who had used the same scam on other women around the world,” says Groot.
She advises everyone to regularly check their security settings on their social media accounts, and not set them to “public” without good reason. Parents should remind their children, and warn them of the need to stay vigilant to scam attempts.
For more information on how to prevent frauds and scams, visit
For tips on how to be Cyber Smart visit

Next in New Zealand politics

On The Political Donations Scandals
By: Gordon Campbell
New Zealand: Housing Crisis Requires Bold Human Rights Response, Says UN Expert
By: UN Special Rapporteur
National’s Economic Plan For 2020 And Beyond
By: New Zealand National Party
Abortion Legislation Bill Report Presented To The House
By: Abortion Legislation Committee
Auditor-General's Report Published - Reflecting On Our Work About Water Management
By: Office of the Auditor-General
Statement Of Jami-lee Ross - "Spoke Up Now Set Up"
By: Jami-Lee Ross
Foreign donation loophole still wide open
By: Jami-Lee Ross
Jacinda Ardern Tries To Soothe Virus Rift With China
Coronavirus: Expert Warns More Flights Could Be Cancelled
National Party Donations Case: 'I Am Now Being Painted As The Scapegoat' - Jami-Lee Ross
'We Need To Apply Natural Justice' - PM On NZ First Foundation Investigation
Not One, But Two $100k Donations To National In Court
National Donations SFO Charge Details A Surprise - Bridges
PM Jacinda Ardern Washes Hands Of NZ First Foundation Photos Saga
Simon Bridges Says NZ First Foundation Investigation Should Be SFO Priority
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media