Five digital organisation’s including Meta and Netsafe are launching a detection tool to stop New Zealanders from being scammed.
The anti-scam website Checknetsafe.nz comes on the back of New Zealanders being scammed out of $35 million last year and Netsafe recording 1,641 complaints and 7,393 consumer harm reports this quarter – the highest numbers in the organisation’s history.
Meta, Global Anti-Scam Alliance, Consumer NZ, ID Care, and Netsafe have been developing Checknetsafe.nz, which has access to the global scam network and is powered by ScamAdvisor.
According to Netsafe, Checknetsafe.nz determines the legitimacy of a website instantly and provides a comprehensive assessment of any risks. Users will receive a warning to be cautious when interacting with a suspicious website or social media URL.
“This is a massive step in New Zealand’s war against scams. People are now armed with a tool that uses real-time scam data. It’s going to make it more difficult for scammers to get away with exploiting New Zealanders,” says Netsafe CEO Brent Carey.
“People have lost millions of dollars because of complex schemes that look real. Now they can check websites against a vast global database that shows in real-time if a website is legitimate.”
Checknetsafe.nz will be launching during Netsafety Week. This year’s theme is ‘Arming Aotearoa with the tools for positive online experiences.’ One of the major focuses during the week is how people can avoid being scammed.
“We wanted to centre the week around self-defence and providing kiwis with the knowledge to live a digital life safely and stress-free,” says Carey.
“New Zealanders deserve to enjoy their online experience and not worry about becoming a victim if they click the wrong thing or trust a suspicious text," he says.
Part of Netsafety Week includes three in-person workshops in Auckland, Nelson and Christchurch hosted by NZ Anti-Fraud winner and Netsafe ‘Scambassador’ Bronwyn Groot. She will be presenting to seniors who have gaps in their online safety knowledge and don’t feel comfortable using the digital space.
Other events throughout the week include multiple webinars that are hosted by experts from Netsafe, the Human Rights Commission, the Free Speech Union, and TikTok.
Netsafety Week culminates with a call to action for businesses nationwide on Friday 28 July to be “Closed to Harassment” for one hour to enable their staff to take Netsafe’s new Social Media Self Defence Course: www.ClosedtoHarassment.co.nz
“This year we designed a hands-on approach for New Zealanders. People have the opportunity to learn new skills, hear from industry experts, and discover new tools and education products,” says Carey.
“The week is focused on preventing harm. We want kiwis to understand how to arm themselves against the rise of scams and have more positive experiences online.”