The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Don't be sucked in by cold caller

10 August 2010

Internal Affairs Anti-Spam Compliance unit is warning the public to beware of a cold caller who suggests there is a problem with their computer and that he can help. The call is believed to come from within New Zealand.

Investigator Toni Demetriou says a Christchurch woman yesterday received an unsolicited telephone call from a man and she confirmed she owned a computer.

“He then attempted to convince her that he was calling about a problem with her windows operating system and that he needed her to log on to her PC so that he could guide her through a process to fix the system,” Toni said. “He was quite persistent but the complainant ended the call.”

While this incident does not come under the anti-spam law a person engaging with this caller could easily be directed to a website where their PC could be infected or compromised in some way. Unsolicited junk mail or spam can deliver malware and infect PCs when unwitting recipients open spam messages delivered to their email account inboxes.

Anyone encountering such problems can contact the Department or go to New Zealand’s online safety organisation, Netsafe, via its Online Reporting Button ( The ORB is a website developed by NetSafe where New Zealanders can report online offences such as spam, fraud, privacy breaches and child exploitation. Reports can be anonymous and are forwarded to the appropriate government agency.

Media contact:
Trevor Henry, communications adviser, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 04 495 7211; cell 0275 843 679