default-output-block.skip-main
Pacific

ASB Bank warns Pasifika community of scams at upcoming Polyfest

ASB Bank is warning of a scam circulating on Facebook and Instagram targeted at Pasifika communities in New Zealand and in the Pacific Islands at the upcoming ASB Polyfest.

The bank, the longtime main sponsor for ASB Polyfest, said scammers have created fake social media profiles, with Polyfest logos and branding, which they are using to “sell” tickets and live streaming links for fans, friends, and family wanting to watch the event from March 20-23.

Victims are asked to pay for the fake tickets or access the livestream via fraudulent payment links, which are used to steal debit and credit card information, the bank said in a statement.

This follows scammers setting up fake Facebook pages and hoax livestream links involving the death of Green MP Fa’anānā Efeso Collins.

It also follows calls by the Government for the banking sector to immediately introduce new measures to protect customers - and reimburse scam victims who lose life-changing sums of money.

ASB Executive general manager technology and operations David Bullock said the bank is concerned about the latest scam activity, which is hurting the people Polyfest aims to celebrate, saying scammers have also been impersonating Pasifika Festival and sadly, sharing fraudulent links for the funeral of Efeso Collins.

“Scam activity of all kinds is on the rise and I encourage everyone to be vigilant, particularly if you’re asked to make a payment or provide sensitive information.

“If you have friends or family in the Pasifika community here or in the Islands, or who might be interested in these events, let them know. Anyone can fall victim to a scam and staying alert to scammers is our first defence,” Bullock said.

He said anyone who has clicked on a link that might be suspicious or entered their payment details, should block their cards in the first instance, and contact their bank immediately. ASB customers can call the bank 24/7 on 0800 ASB FRAUD (0800 272 372).

Legitimate tickets to Polyfest cost between $7.50 and $10 each and will only be sold via the iTICKET NZ site.

“Victims are asked to pay for the fake tickets or access the livestream via fraudulent payment links, which are used to steal debit and credit card information.

“Fans will not be asked to enter any payment details to access the livestream and no tickets will be sold via social media pages or direct message,” said Bullock.

How to spot a fraudulent profile:

  • Fake business email addresses
  • Suspicious URL links (containing a different name, for example)
  • Spelling mistakes
  • Blurry logos, images or other brand assets