Scams and fraud
Taking care can help you avoid scams and fraud. If you think you've been scammed, report it straight away.
Common scams and fraud
There are lots of ways people try to scam you out of your money. The scams might be online — through email, the internet and social media — or the scammers might come to your door or contact you by mail, phone or text.
Types of scams
Common scams include:
- phishing — an email or text that tries to trick you into providing your personal details
- computer virus scams — where you get a phone call saying your computer has been infected with a virus, which the caller can fix, as long as you give them your credit card details and remote access to your computer
- investment scams — you're offered the chance of high returns for very little risk
- inheritance or lottery and competition scams — where you're told you've inherited or won money, but you need to pay a fee or taxes before you can get your winnings
- online dating scams — where a person you've only met online and have become romantically attached to starts asking for money or wants your personal details
- door-to-door scams — where someone knocks on your door and offers to do a job for you for an upfront fee, and then does it badly or not at all
- phone scams — someone calls pretending to be from a government department or a well-known company, and asks for your personal information
- identity theft — people try to find out your personal details and passwords so they can use your details to steal money or set up fake identities.
Money laundering is when people make money through crimes such as fraud and drug dealing. They make it appear like they made the money legally so they can stop police finding out about their crimes.
You may be asked for information to prove who you are and where your money came from when you use the services of:
- banks and financial institutions
- trust and company service providers
- lawyers and conveyancers
You must provide the information they need or you may not be able to use their services.
Businesses may ask you to show them documents such as your:
- driver's licence
- bank card
- bank statements
- other documents to prove your address or where your money came from.
Protect yourself from scams
Putting a few security measures in place can help to protect you from scammers.
On your phone and computer:
- use different, hard to guess passwords, such as a mix of numbers, letters, upper and lower case
- put a PIN on your phone
- don't reply to unsolicited emails or texts, or click on links in them
- use security software on your computer and keep it up to date
- don't open spam emails — report them to firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete them
- hang up on cold callers offering investment opportunities.
You can check that people and businesses offering financial sevices are registered and have the correct licences.
Find out about current scams
You can help protect yourself by finding out about current scams.
What to do if you've been scammed
If you think or know that you’ve been scammed, report it to your bank and to NetSafe's scam reporting website, the Orb.
Freephone: 0508 638 723 (NZ only)
NetSafe will get back to you with advice and may also pass your report to another agency, such as the police or Consumer Protection.
You can report a cyber security issue through CERT NZ.