Manukau Courier : March 11th 2011
www.manukaucourier.co.nz Friday, March 11, 2011 Have we got NEWS for you! News that you can Read, Hear & Watch! Our amazing new online editions take the news into a new dimension. Reads like a newspaper with easy-to-read turning pages -- and packed with extra features that connect you to news like never before. News coverage that puts you on the scene with Turn the page to a new era in local news -- the total multi media news experience! Just click on "Latest Edition" at www.manukaucourier.co.nz Turn on to our online editions NOW. The latest local news online -- anywhere, anytime. MULTIMEDIA YOUR NEWS Taken in by rates scam By DAVID TAURANGA A RETIRED man ripped off in a rates rebate scam is warning others to beware of strangers offering deals too good to be true. John, who s asked not to be named, fell victim to an advance fee scam carried out by a company identifying itself as Reclaim Exports. The 64-year-old Mangere resident received three phone calls from the company which claimed he was owed a rates rebate of $3647 on his property. All he had to do was pay $275 via Western Union to a bank account in Delhi, India, before the funds could be released. John says he dealt with different people each time but they all spoke with Indian accents and sounded very professional. During the first call they intro- duced the company, what they did and asked me to confirm my name and address which they knew, he says. I have no idea how they got my information -- when I asked him this he didn t say a thing, just kept on talking. Each time the callers told him to phone their manager Ben Morgan on an Auckland number if he wanted the company to chase up his money. Twice he declined the offer but on the third call he decided to follow through so he could find out more about the deal. He called Mr Morgan who instructed him to pay the $275 to the Delhi bank account number. I asked why I should pay this sum and he said it was the government s portion which needed to be paid before releasing the $3647. So I sent the money and then called Mr Morgan twice -- the first time he fobbed me off, the second time he pretended not to know me. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs says over the past week it has received nine reports of scams like the one detailed by John. Ministry spokesman Alastair Stewart says it s similar to lottery and competition scams which regu- larly surface in New Zealand. In these scams you receive an out-of-the-blue call or email saying you ve won a lottery or competition. But to receive the prize or reward you need to pay something -- administration or insurance costs, etc. Mr Stewart says anyone contac- ted by the company or who receives similar calls should report them, including the originating telephone number. Auckland police spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty says because the scam is run from overseas, they are powerless to stop it. Go to the Ministry of Consumer Affair's website www.consumeraffairs. govt.nz/ report---scam to report a scam. Bank staff dig deep at playgroup Good work: BNZ staffer Natalie Grace is kept busy moving bark at Mangere Bridge Playgroup in the Closed for Good campaign. Helping her with the work are, from left: Connor Ferguson, 4, Nikolai Piskulic, 4, and Lachlan Coyle, 4. Photo: FIONA GOODALL Community groups could bank on a helping hand this week. The BNZ s Closed for Good initiative on Wednesday saw staff across Counties Manukau pitching in and painting, cleaning, digging, weeding and fixing at community groups. Branches shut up shop in every region except Christchurch where the bank was open for good . More than 3000 BNZ staff were out and about working on more than 500 different community projects across the country. At Mangere Bridge Playgroup they were kept busy cleaning, sorting and repairing toys and tidying up the play area and gar- dens. Bank chief executive Andrew Thorburn says the response from communities around New Zealand has been terrific. So many community groups that do good need a helping hand more than ever. This is what motivated us with Closed for Good. KIWIS TARGETED An internet search reveals that throughout the country a number of Kiwis have been targeted by Reclaim Exports and other companies using similar names like Reclaim Experts, Department of Reclaim Experts, Bank Reclaims Department and a host of others. Last month a Whangerei woman was called by someone claiming to be a Ministry of Justice representative and saying she was owed $4800 by her bank and if she paid $199 to a lawyer in Delhi a cheque would be posted to her. And last August a Dunedin woman was contacted by Reclaim Experts claiming her bank owed her $3600 and she would be sent a cheque if she paid $249. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has put out a scam alert which provides information on how to avoid being scammed by cold callers. Visit www. consumeraffairs.govt.nz/scam- news/scam-alert-45 for more information.
March 10th 2011
March 15th 2011