Raising the red flag to expose scammers

Christchurch man Danny de Hek is on a mission to expose scammers.

De Hek is leading a worldwide group of online 'Avengers' dedicated to naming and shaming scammers.

"I've been up since 5.30 this morning, and we've been going into Zoom meetings.

"I've got a team of Avengers that send me links and we go in there, we monitor the meetings, and we basically police people who are trying to deceive 'mum and dad investors' out of their crypto."

He said scammers generally target people who they believe they can easily mislead.

They offer them hope, friendship, goods or money - and then reel their victims in.

Netsafe reports show scams are increasing and more Kiwis are being caught out, costing the economy at least $2 billion a year.

Danny de Hek is exposing scammers. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Danny de Hek is exposing scammers. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Just 15 per cent of victims who try to recover their money are successful.

The Avengers receive daily messages from people in New Zealand and around the world who have fallen victim to scams.

"I have a database of over 170 people that are trained to promote and scam people - and I'm building it all the time."

Even some international authorities have enlisted his help.

"Every now and again they ask me: 'Do I know some such and such?'

"And I'll go: 'Yeah, I've got a file on them and I have been in Zoom meetings with these guys'.

"We're making a difference, they're using my information in courts, which is really exciting."

De Hek livestreams videos warning people about scams.

"I'm not saying crypto is bad, but if it involves crypto normally it's the easiest way [for scammers] to get your money.

"The second one is does it have a reward system?

"Do you get some sort of reward if you refer somebody else into it - multi-level marketing.

"And the third one is real simple: Does it sound too good to be true? Are you really going to get three times your return on your investment? You're not."

De Hek and his team have vowed to continue exposing scammers and help educate and empower 'mum and dad investors' to make good financial decisions.

- By Geoff Sloan, made with the support of NZ On Air