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File-encrypting ransomwareThe United States' FBI has this warning about the file-encrypting ransomware known as Cryptolocker.
Latest Reported ScamsThe following scams were reported to the Department's Electronic Messaging Compliance team.
The scams range in format - from email and mobile/smart phone TXT message scams, to phone (verbal), fax, postal (letters), and online scams (from trading or social networking websites).
See the Results and Statistics page for information about the number of spam complaints and scam reports we receive each month, and the number of formal warnings and infringement notices issued.
How to Report Scams
Report scams to the Department of Internal AffairsEmail and Online Scams:
Forward the scam email or email a description of the online scam to firstname.lastname@example.org along with any other information that may be useful.
Forward the TXT message to the free shortcode 7726 (SPAM).
Email a description of the scam to email@example.com.
Postal and Fax Scams:
Email a scanned copy of the scam to firstname.lastname@example.org;
Fax the scam to (+64 4) 495 9314; or
post a copy to: Electronic Messaging Compliance Unit
Department of Internal Affairs
PO Box 805
Report scams to Consumer AffairsPlease visit the Consumer Affairs' Scamwatch website (see the Report a scam section).
Scamwatch provides comprehensive material on how to spot scams, how to protect yourself from scams, and how you can report a scam to help protect others.
About Scams and Fraud AwarenessScammers will do anything to rip you off, so it's important to be aware of the different kinds of scams circulating - especially if you use email or a mobile phone. Learn how to identify scams, so you can protect yourself and others from harm. Be suspicious - any offer that sounds too good to be true probably is, so don't be fooled!
'Phishing' emails pretend to come from a financial institution, such as a bank, and urge you to click a link to the company’s website and enter your bank account details, credit card information, password, passport information, home address, or even your IRD number. Many websites are clever fakes, and typing in your details could result in your bank account being emptied by fraudsters.
Banks never contact customers by email and ask them to confirm personal financial information (they usually send mail that can be accessed via your online account or you will receive a letter through the post). Don't click on the links in these emails as your computer could be infected with a virus. If you do have an account at the bank, call them and verify the authenticity of the email first.
Genuine mystery shopper companies do not recruit by sending unsolicited emails or letters. You need to register with the store of interest, provide a profile and they will contact you when work is available. A genuine offer will not involve you paying them to join, or them sending you a cheque for you to deposit some money in your bank account and send the rest through a Western Union account.
How to identify scamsLots of scams can look genuine, and sometimes it's hard to tell that they're not real. If you're not sure, don't respond or click on links - look up their contact details and verify the authenticity of the communication.
It might be a scam if:
- you don't know the sender
- it's addressed to 'My Dear' or something generic
- there are too many grammatical or spelling errors in the email or SMS text message
- the email address is a public service domain like Gmail / Yahoo / Livemail
- a bank that you don't have an account with contacts you
- you are urged to visit a website to update your account information or fill in a form with personal information
- you're advised to act fast to claim money or some other prize in a lottery or competition that you never entered
- you inherit money or possessions from someone you've never heard of
- you receive a request from a stranger who needs your help (usually to send money)
- someone on a social networking site asks you to send them money so they can pay debts or so that they can visit you.
See the Types of Scams section of Scamwatch for a full list of scams.
See also: How to protect your identity
Fraud Awareness WeekThe Department of Internal Affairs is one of a number of partner organisations helping to promote the Fraud Awareness Week campaign. Fraud Awareness Week is a good reminder for all New Zealanders to beware of scammers and their constantly evolving tactics.
Fraud Awareness Week aims to raise New Zealander’s awareness about how they can spot scams, how they can protect themselves from scams, and how they can report a scam via the Scamwatch website to help protect others.
New Zealand Government Links
- Commerce Commission
- Financial Markets Authority
- Consumer Affairs (Scamwatch)
- New Zealand Police
- Serious Fraud Office
Local and Overseas Organisations
- Citizens Advice Bureau
- International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network
- Internet NZ - Stop Spam
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