We have warned our clients about scams and cyber security for many years. But Artificial Intelligence or AI is going to take the threat to a new level.
While it was relatively easy to spot the spelling mistakes and bizarre writing and images in old school scam emails and text messages, the ability of AI to personalise a message to you, or create a fake person or a fake voice, AI is going to make it harder to spot a scam.
With 31st March being the end of the New Zealand tax year, scammers and fraudsters use this as a good time to try and trick you by telling you that you are eligible for a tax refund, or that you need to pay a tax bill.
It is important to understand that when Inland Revenue sends you a message they don't include a link in the message or an attachment for you to click on. They tell you to separately go and log in to your account at My IR. Anything you get with a link or an attachment is going to be a scam.
Anything that asks you for personal details or bank account or credit card numbers is likely to be a scam. If you ignore it and it is genuine they will always contact you if there is a real issue.
Recently I had a phone call from a Sydney phone number, telling me it was from Visa, with an automated American womens voice telling me that there had been two charges on my Visa, one for $300 to Amazon an another for $1000 to someone else (kind of stopped listening then.)
I have been unfortunate to have my Visa compromised before and it is the Bank that issued the visa that contacts me (fortunately I knew that). I was able to check my personal and work Visa's regularly on my app for each one, and no no random transactions occurred. This phone call wanted me to click through to '1', so I don't know what would have happened next, I just hung up.
This is another one that I get regularly - along with Apple scams. You get a text telling you that they are trying to deliver something to you and you have to click on the link in the text to make sure it gets to you.
One of the golden rules is that you should always be aware of your spending patterns and financial situation and IF IN DOUBT DON'T CLICK!
If your memory is not as good as it used to be - then just ignore it and check with someone who might have a better idea whether it is something you should be dealing with.
Don't forget they might send you multiple texts or emails or phone calls to trick you.