The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Services › Anti-Spam › Online scams

The following messages are suspected scams the Department has been made aware of and are listed below to help you avoid them.

Links to scam web pages have been removed and spaces have been added to email addresses to ensure they do not become hyperlinks.

You can complain about unsolicited commercial electronic messages you have received by email, TXT (mobile/smart phone) message, or fax (facsimile) by sending your scam reports to:

Please note, the Department does not investigate unsolicited phone calls, postal mail or pop-up messages.

Lotto Scam

Image of mobile phone text message reads: Dear DIA. We tried to call you Monday but with no luck - Please read our message when possible

What is it?

Individuals have been targeted by a large SMS text campaign claiming to offer them discounted Lotto tickets, or other cheap items such as the latest smartphone. While the SMS message listed above does not mention Lotto, if the target clicks the link it will redirect them to a well-constructed webpage advertising Lotto tickets at a discounted price.

The webpage will prompt the target to answer several questions before asking for credit card details. The scammer will then use this information to charge to the credit card or on-sell this information.
A web page with with the URL:, displaying an image of LOTTO tickets, LOTTO power balls and a car, and the words: Play Lotto for 2 weeks for only $1. Win $4 Million Jackpot and have a chance to win BMW X5 xDrive45

What to look out for?

  • These SMS text campaigns are well crafted and tailored to the recipient, often using the recipient’s name. They mention a competition, track and trace parcel, or other matter along with a randomised hyperlink.
  • Look for anything that’s out of character, unexpected and doesn’t seem correct.
  • Never click a hyperlink in a spam message – even if it looks legitimate.
  • If you think it may be legitimate, double-check with the company that supposedly sent it through their official channels. For example, for the above Lotto messages, contact Lotto NZ directly via their official phone number or email address on their official website to verify.

BitFit Messages

Image of mobile phone text message reads:We have been trying to get ahold of you. Your submission will reset at 4pm if not confirmed. Login

What is it?

The Department has received numerous complaints about individuals being referred to a platform known as BitFit. At this stage the Department cannot confirm that individuals are being scammed however the information being shared on the site leads the Department to advise against any engagement with this Platform as there is a high risk of financial loss.

The target will receive a text message with a link that directs to a webpage formatted as a news article outlining which outlines the financial benefits associated in investing in cryptocurrency through BitFit. The webpage will inform the target how they can easily make money by trading in cryptocurrency on the platform and provide steps on how to sign up and start “investing”. Public reporting suggests that any money provided by the target is not invested in any way and the scammers will persistently SMS, Email and call the target enticing them to invest more.

Image of scrollingscreen of fake bitfit web page.

What to look out for?

  • The SMS text message may use broken English with poor grammar that you would not expect from a legitimate company attempting to solicit business from the public.
  • The link directs the target to a well-made webpage that appears to be a legitimate news website, however if you attempt to explore the website, many of the links that would typically direct you to other areas are “dead links” and do not take you anywhere. This is a great sign that something regarding the webpage is suspicious
  • If you receive a message you think may be a scam, do your due diligence and search google for information on the ‘offer’ before clicking any hyperlink or giving over any personal information.

Employment Scam

Email from George Wills - Shell Oil Company. Subject: NEW EMPLOYMENT PROPOSITION: 24102020. Body text: Dear Expert, I hope this email finds you in good health. We are glad to use this means of communication...(etc.)...Human Resources Dept.(Shell logo)

What is it?

Individuals have been targeted by phishing campaigns offering employment opportunities with reputable companies. In the above example, the email appears to be sent from Shell Oil Company advertising a position of employment to the target.

The scammer requests personal information that you would typically expect throughout the process of employment however if the target was to engage with the sender the following scenarios would occur:

1. The sender would reply back with 1 or more attachments claiming these are an employment contract or other similar documentation. These attachments will contain harmful malware that if opened or executed will infect the targets computer.
2. The sender will continue to engage with the target and eventually offer employment to the target, ask them to complete documentation including personal information such as their bank details. The scammer may then sell-on this information.
3. The sender will continue to engage with the target and eventually offer employment to the target, asking them to pay a fee of some kind via credit card. The scammer will use this information to charge to the credit card or sell-on the credit card information.

What to look out for? have good information about how individuals can avoid applying for fake jobs. This includes:

1. Research the company who appear to have offered a job. Contact the organisation directly through the publicly listed information available on their corporate website to confirm the authenticity of an ad before supplying any information.
2. Call the New Zealand number provided in the ad. In many cases scammers include fake New Zealand phone numbers. Call the number to check if there is a dial tone
3. Read the information contained in the comments of where the ad was posted to see if someone has already flagged this as fake or suspicious

Help and Guidance

If you have been targeted by an email or text phishing campaign, you can report it to our team here. We have also
created a factsheet that provides more information about what to do if you receive spam.

For more information about how to stay safe online and avoid being exposed to spam and online scams you can visit our webpage here.