New Zealand police are warning of a new online banking scam that is targeting customers in both Australia and New Zealand, according to local press reports.
The scam is reportedly being run out of Denmark and uses two Web sites. One site, called "Devancy" is targeted at New Zealand customers whilst the other, called "Avantyx", is aimed at Australians. Each site falsely claims to represent a financial services firm that has business partnerships with major banks including ANZ, Westpac, ASB Bank, National Bank of New Zealand and the Bank of New Zealand.
The scam works by persuading customers to accept deposits into their bank accounts which they then forwarded to a third party minus a transaction fee, which the customer keeps. But once the transactions are completed, the inital deposit is cancelled, leaving the account holders out of pocket.
According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, New Zealand police computer crime manager Maarten Kleintjes explained: "Devancy deposit say $10,000 into your account, then you send $9,500 on to someone else the same day. Devancy then quickly cancel their $10,000 deposit.
"The net result was the account holder sending on $9,500 of their own money to an associate of the Web site."
Kleintjes adds: "The key to this scam is building a very convincing website that looks just like a real financial services Web site."