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Thieves hit half a million Kiwis via their banks

11 Sep 23

Thieves hit half a million Kiwis via their banks

Large numbers of New Zealanders are falling victim to thefts via their bank accounts and cards.

They do not think banks are doing enough to protect them.

Their view of how the banks are protecting them becomes more adverse when they find out that some New Zealand banks are not yet implementing highly-effective anti-fraud and theft measures already being used in Australia.

A Horizon Research Bank Fraud and Cybercrime survey finds New Zealanders experiencing a major crime wave via their banks. Fraud and theft via bank accounts and cards is running at twice the rate of losses via cybercrime (via internet devices being accessed without permission).

Incidence of fraud and cybercrime

The survey of 1,039 adults nationwide finds:

Overall, a significant number of adults have experienced fraud and theft via their  bank accounts or cards in the past 12 months:

  • 13% ( equivalent to around 512,000 adults aged 18+) have had someone use a bank card, credit card, cheque or other document, without permission, to commit fraud and/or steal from them
  • 10% (385,000) have experienced fraud, theft involving a bank account
  • 7% (258,000) have been a victim of cybercrime, with an internet device accessed without permission.

Of those who were victims of fraud, 80% lost up to $5,000.

  • 54% of them lost up to $500.

Anti-fraud initiatives:

When told about different initiatives being introduced in Australia


  • 69% (2,718,000 adults) believed their bank should introduce dynamically generated CVC numbers
  • 83% (3,273,000 adults) believed their bank should do a check to see that the account names and numbers match on an account to which a customer is sending a payment.


56% (2,230,000 adults) said they would not be upset if banks were required to go a bit slower on payments from personal accounts of more than $10,000 so they could check whether or not the customer is being scammed.

34% (1,341,000 adults) said they would be upset.

Are banks doing enough to protect customers from fraud?

In the survey customers were asked: Do you think the banks you use in New Zealand are doing enough to protect you from theft, fraud and deception?

This question was asked before and after being shown anti-fraud initiatives being used in Australia, but not New Zealand.

There was a significant change in people’s opinion of whether banks are doing enough to protect them from fraud after they had been told about some anti-fraud initiatives in Australia.

Overall, 30% only (1,190,000 adults) think banks in New Zealand are doing enough.

43% (1,694,000 adults) think banks are not doing enough.

73% (2,892,000 adults) believed that the bank should pay full compensation If a bank customer is scammed, and it is later found their bank should have spotted that the transaction was suspicious.


7% (258,000 adults) have been a victim of cybercrime, with an internet device accessed without permission.

Respondents were also asked if enough was being done to protect them from cybercrime.

23% (901,000 adults) only said enough was being done.

47% (1,877,000 adults) said not enough was being done.

The survey is part of Horizon’s Banking Monitor research, which also compares how competitive banks are on meeting customer service expectations.

The survey was conducted nationwide between 17th and 24th August 2023. There were 1,039 respondents aged 18+, representing New Zealand’s adult population.

At a 95% confidence level, the survey has a maximum margin of error  of ±3% overall.

Media coverage

Stuff coverage of this survey results includes calls for banks to act and experiences of bank fraud vivtims.


You're welcome to share your experiences and comment on this issue at Horizon's Facebook page.

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For further information, please contact:

Graeme Colman, Principal, Horizon Research Limited, email; telephone +64 21 848 576.