It’s been in the headlines, scammers are hitting NZ hard with their worryingly convincing investment ploys.

According to the NZ Herald, “a Kiwi man has poured $525,000 into what is believed to be a sophisticated global investment scam”.  The man in question is university educated and thought he was investing in a carbon emissions scheme.  Claims were backed up with a very elaborate web of deceit by scammers said to be from a company called FM Wealth Management Ltd with holdings in the Cayman Islands.

The Financial Markets Authority issued the following statement on their website:
REASON FOR WARNING: We have received reports that representatives of Fitch Matthews Wealth Management are cold calling and offering investment opportunities to New Zealand residents. Fitch Matthews Wealth Management is not registered on the FSPR, therefore, is not permitted to provide financial services to New Zealand residents.

It pays to be vigilant, and you should always be wary of anyone who contacts you out of the blue and requests money. What can you do to help keep yourself safe against sophisticated investment scammers?

  • All financial services that are legitimately authorised to operate in New Zealand will be registered with the Financial Markets Authority and appear on their website register which you can access here. This includes all Financial Advisers as individuals, professional bodies, markets and businesses licensed or authorised to operate in New Zealand in a financial capacity. If that person, company or entity is not registered with the FMA, they are most likely not legitimate and should be avoided.
  • Typically, if the FMA is aware a company may be contacting individuals for investment opportunities not authorised by the FMA, they’ll issue similar warnings to the one above. You can always check their warnings and notices here.
  • The New Zealand Government has some handy websites built around consumer protection, and they have pages on how to identify a scam and how to avoid a scam.
  • Check out the International Organization of Securities Commission here for globally recognised concerns about known international
  • Netsafe.org.nz is a website dedicated to online safety for New Zealanders and is an authority on general net safety. Their site covers a variety of topics on scams in New Zealand and they act as a contact point for reporting potential scams – so you can help keep other Kiwis safe. You can contact Netsafe by calling 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723) or by emailing help@netsafe.org.nz.

Stay safe, stay vigilant.

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