May 31, 2024
September 2023

Teaching Tū Ora how to avoid scams.

Believe it or not, those leaving prison are prime targets for scammers!

Hugh from CERT NZ visits the Pathway office, pictured with Silvan.

Hugh from CERT NZ visits the Pathway office, pictured with Silvan.

For some it's a world they know little about. They've have had long stints behind bars and with no ready access to the internet or technology, it's easy to see how they can get left behind.

So, what are we doing about it?

CERT NZ, an organisation that spreads awareness and advice on how to deal with scammers, recently did a presentation for our reintegration staff, which will be used in the NI unit to educate our Tū Ora.

Using those resources, our reintegration team is helping educate our men about online scams, how they can protect themselves from them on release, what different scams look like and the groups often targeted.

Navigate Initiative unit lead Silvan Danuser says feelings of loneliness and social isolation are two of the biggest reasons people fell for scams regardless of their circumstances, and recently released prisoners are particularly vulnerable. "It means the guys are soft targets for online scammers. The guys can be quite overwhelmed about what's online when they've been gone for so long.

"Imagine, someone that's socially isolated gets an email saying 'hi honey, nice to meet you'. They might think 'oh wow, this is cool'. You can see how it doesn't take too much for our guys to say 'that looks good'. Creating a strong, pro-social network can help people avoid the trap of social isolation", he says.

Online banking and using a smartphone are also challenges. Silvan says the key is slowly introducing those to our men. "We've had guys that are adamant they will not do online times when we say no, you have to get a bank account and a phone they can get overwhelmed before they start."

Over time our men have realised the far-reaching benefits of these and have embraced them, which is making a big difference in their lives each day.

Names have been changed.

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