Scammers making millions from apps

App scams cost New Zealanders $8 million a year. Photo: Supplied
App scams cost New Zealanders $8 million a year. Photo: Supplied

Scammers have made more than a million dollars targeting smartphones and tablets in New Zealand this month.

NetSafe is warning Kiwis to watch what apps they’re downloading and to not always trust them – even if they say they’re free.

During the month of March, a competition scam has been arriving by text message, prompting a free app download that then charges a monthly subscription fee once it’s installed.

NetSafe asks that families be vigilant, especially with school holidays approaching, as that brings an increase in gaming and app usage.

NetSafe digital project manager Chris Hails says that parents need to keep track of every app that gets downloaded.

“Think carefully, you know, why are they asking me for my credit card information? What is it that I’m actually installing?” he says

In 2014, the cybersafety organisation recorded an eight million dollar loss in this country to online scams.

Hails says people should only use legitimate app stores.

Greg Wattam
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