We highlight current cyber security threats in New Zealand, and provide guidance on what to do if they affect you.

3:00pm, 8 August 2023

TLP Rating: Clear

“Mum I dropped my phone” SMS scam targeting New Zealanders

New Zealanders are being targeted in a text message phishing campaign. The messages claim to be from your children or other family members. The messages will claim their phone has been damaged and they need you to contact them on a new mobile number.  

If responded to, scammers will ask for bank account details and/or credit card details so they can purchase a new mobile phone.

What to look for

How to tell if you're at risk

If you receive an unsolicited text message that claims to be from your child or other family member.

Just receiving the text message does not mean you are at risk, however, responding can increase your risk.

What to do


Do not respond to the message. If you are worried that it may genuinely be from a family member, contact them on their regular number first to check. If you can't get hold of them through normal means, you could also try contacting a close friend to check.

If you suspect the message is a scam, forward it free-of-charge to 7726. This is a service run by the Department of Internal Affairs. They will reply and ask for the phone number that sent it.

Also report the mobile number to CERT NZ either on our website or contact us on 0800 CERTNZ.

Report an incident to CERT NZ


If you have responded to the message, do not provide your credit card details or bank account details.

If you have already paid any money, then immediately contact your bank. The sooner you do it, the more likely the bank can reverse the charges and potentially stop any future payments the scammers may set up.

More information

If you require more information or further support, submit a report on our website or contact us on 0800 CERTNZ.

Report an incident to CERT NZ