Agencies across the country are fighting back in a bid to stop money scammed off innocent Kiwis being funnelled into illegal activities abroad. Chelsea Boyle reports.

New Zealanders are affected by scams every day and estimates show the cost of cybercrime to this country could be $400 million to $500 million every year.

Agencies such as Netsafe, police, the Financial Markets Authority and cyber security watchdog CERT NZ make up a multi-agency group dedicated to scam and fraud prevention – ever vigilant to the changing tactics used by foreign criminal syndicates.

The experts liaise with international money security agencies in a bid to block accounts and track down the scammers.

Together with the banking sector, the group are employing new technology in the fight. This includes tracking overseas money transfers and blocking suspect accounts.

It also includes anti-scam phone technology that blocks scam calls and records via computer software where they originated so authorities can track the racketeers who are trying to fleece unsuspecting Kiwis.

Education is another important tool, teaching people what to look out for and what to do if they realise they’ve been scammed.

Sometimes scammers don’t get their own way, such as when a fake Malaysian travel company tried to trick savvy and curious pensioner Noeleen Sutton into passing on her personal information.

Sutton, 80, was curious after receiving an envelope in the mail covered in five “large, pretty Malaysian stamps” stuffed with a travel brochure and two scratchy cards.