The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Services › Anti-Spam › Watch out for scams

The information below is also available as a downloadable information sheet. See: 'Watch out for scams'.

Learn how to identify scams so you can protect yourself and others from harm.

Many scams 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 in messages. Look up the person’s contact details and verify the authenticity of the communication.

Read the signs

It might be a scam if the caller or sender of the message:
  • Is from an unknown or dubious source
  • is a stranger who contacts you when you aren’t expecting it
  • is a stranger who asks for financial help (i.e. so they can pay debts or visit you)
  • gets your name wrong (i.e. refers to you as ‘My Dear’ or something generic)
  • says you need to claim money or prizes for a lottery or competition you never entered
  • says you have inherited money or possessions from someone you’ve never heard of
  • claims to be from a bank or other financial institution and requests your personal information
  • asks you to visit a website or fill in a form and submit your personal information

Too good to be true

Any offer that sounds too good to be true probably is, so don’t be fooled! Don’t give out your personal details over the phone or by email or text message.

You should be suspicious if an email, text message or letter addressed to you contains too many grammatical or spelling errors.

Often scammers will send emails from public service domains such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Livemail. If an email message includes a link, hover over the link with your mouse to see if it relates to the email.

Verify the email by independent means. For example, type the name of the individual or business into your internet search engine and look at the information that comes up.

Report scams

TXT: Forward the message to our free shortcode 7726 (SPAM)
Phone: (04) 495 9314
Fax: (04) 495 9314