Kiwis may not be as fraud savvy as they think: Visa Study



As the move to digital commerce continues, fraudsters are counting on consumers to let their guard down and to supply personal information. And according to new research released today by global payments technology company Visa (NYSE: V), which surveyed over 1,000 consumers in New Zealand, scammers appear to be thriving in the gap between consumers’ awareness of the language of fraud and their actual behaviour.

The local New Zealand research follows Visa’s global 2022 report, “Fraudulese: The Language of Fraud”, which highlighted the most common communicative strategies used by fraudsters to find vulnerabilities among even the most tech-savvy consumers. This new data shines a light on the mismatch between our perceived proficiency at spotting scams versus how many of us become victims of online fraud.

Conducted by YouGov, Visa found that 93 per cent of Kiwis say they’re at least ‘somewhat’ knowledgeable when it comes to recognising online fraud and scams, with 51 per cent of those claiming to be ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ knowledgeable. Despite this, more than one in three (34 per cent) have been the victim of such a scam. This is lower than for the Asia-Pacific region overall, where 40 per cent of those surveyed said they had been the victim of a scam.

Other key findings include:

  • 50 per cent of Kiwis said they were the most suspicious of requests to reset passwords, compared to 41 per cent across Asia-Pacific
  • 27 per cent of New Zealanders claim to be likely to act on a call to action that offers a free gift or a free gift card
  • 24 per cent of Kiwis said that they would react to digital communications posing as urgent

New Zealanders surveyed express concern for the older generation, with over 70 per cent of the view that older people are more likely to fall for common online scams, such as verifying account information, notifications of overdrawn bank accounts, or winning a giveaway. However, the data paints a different story with only 30 per cent of those over 55 in Asia Pacific reporting being victims of scams, compared with 46 per cent of those aged between 18-24.

“Understanding the language of fraud is increasingly essential in our digital-first world. While our new study demonstrates that Kiwi consumers are savvy when it comes to spotting signs of fraud in our emails, texts and messages, scammers have reached new heights of sophistication,” said Martyna Lazar, Visa’s Head of Risk in Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific.

“Easter is a popular period for retail sales which makes education and the proper discernment of the language of scams an integral part of consumer protection,” she added.


Methodological Notes

This study was conducted by YouGov Research in March 2023. 1,008 adults were surveyed in New Zealand and 15,339 adults across 14 Asia-Pacific countries (Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam).

About Visa Inc.

Visa (NYSE: V) is a world leader in digital payments, facilitating transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions and government entities across more than 200 countries and territories. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, convenient, reliable and secure payments network, enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. We believe that economies that include everyone everywhere, uplift everyone everywhere and see access as foundational to the future of money movement. Learn more at