1 Nov 2013

Festive warning targets foreign exchange agencies

11:36 am on 1 November 2013

Police are checking out foreign exchange outlets in Auckland as they promote a pre-Christmas warning about offshore scammers.

The city's Financial Crime Unit staff will be at some money remittance agencies on Friday to give customers crime prevention advice.

Police say a recent survey of such agencies indicates more than a hundred million dollars a year is sent to high risk countries from New Zealand.

They say it is unclear how much of that is fraudulently obtained or laundered funds, but it is likely to be in the tens of millions, given the low rate of reporting of that type of crime.

Police say high risk countries include the obvious, like Nigeria and Ghana, but it is not safe to send money to any country if you do not personally know the person to whom it is going.