The woman tried to make the transfer via BNZ earlier this year.
Staff questioned her about what the money was for and she eventually revealed it was so her boyfriend, whom she had met on the internet, could come to New Zealand.
"The customer had unfortunately fallen victim to a relationship scam. She had started an internet relationship with a man who she believed was the head surgeon in a hospital in Kabul," said BNZ head of financial crime Ashley Kai Fong.
She provided a faked letter purporting to be from the United Nations demanding a payment of $30,000 to secure a new surgeon to replace him and to pay for his travel out of Afghanistan so that he could come and live with her in New Zealand.
"The customer even had a photo of the man but unfortunately it was found through a Google image search to be a plastic surgeon working on the west coast of the United States."。