Beware of Scammers
A scam is any scheme designed to trick people out of money or steal their personal information that uses, or is delivered via, digital communications.
Here are a few tell-tale signs you might be being caught up in a COVID-19 scam:
- Being asked for passwords
Legitimate organisations will never ask for the passwords to your online accounts
- Needing to verify your account or details
Don’t respond or click on any links in the communication even if it looks like it’s from a real organisation
- Unusual ways to pay for something
Scammers try to use payments that can’t be traced such as pre-loaded debit cards, gift cards, bitcoins, iTunes cards or money transfer systems
- Asking for remote access to your device
Never do this unless you have actively sought out the service they are providing
- Pressuring you to make a decision quickly
This could be to avoid something bad (e.g. account being closed, trouble with the IRD) or to take advantage of something good (a deal or investment)
- Contact that is out of the blue
Even if the person says they’re from a legitimate organisation likeyour bank, health or internet provider
The best thing you can do if you notice any of the signs above is to stop, get some advice or look for more information. If the person contacting you has said that they are from a legitimate organisation and you’re not sure, you can also contact that organisation to check.
Make sure that you use the phone number or email they have on their official website or in the phone book – and do not use the one given by the person or in the email they have sent you.
Report A Scam
Netsafe offers advice and uses peoples reports to develop community education. You can report a COVID-19 scam to www.netsafe.org.nz/report.
If you receive spam message you can report it to the Department of Internal Affairs to investigate by:
- Emailing reportspam.co.nz
- Forwarding the spam text to 7726 (free text)
The Department will contact you with details on how to complete a report.