COVID-19 scams

Scammers are opportunistic and will often use topical issues, like the COVID-19 pandemic, to try to trick and manipulate people into giving out their personal or financial details.

Scams and fraud are one of the most common reports we receive at CERT NZ. It’s important to be aware of many ways a scammer may try and trick you or your loved ones.

Scams and frauds

If you’re affected by any scam, COVID-19 related or not, reporting to CERT NZ can help you understand what you can do to protect yourself against future harm from the scam and how to look after yourself against future scams.

Reporting scams also help other New Zealanders by providing insight into what tactics and tools scammers are using to try and manipulate others.

Report it

Scam and fraud prevention

There’s a number of ways you can protect yourself against scams and fraud.

  • Don’t give out too much personal information online, whether on social media or by email.
  • Put privacy settings on your social media accounts and don’t add too many personal details to your profile.
  • If a friend asks you for money on social media, call or email them to confirm their request is legitimate — don’t pay without checking first.
  • Turn on two-factor authentication for your online accounts.
  • Choose unique passwords for your online accounts — don’t use the same password for every account you have.  Consider using a password manager as well.
  • Don’t click on web links sent by someone you don’t know, or that seem out of character for someone you do know. If you’re not sure about something, contact the person you think might have sent it to check first.
  • Don’t pay invoices for any goods or services that you didn’t ask for or receive. Be wary if a company you often deal with changes their account payment details unexpectedly. If you’re unsure about an invoice, call the business directly to check the details before you pay.
  • Always check your bank statements.
  • Get a regular credit report to check that no accounts have been opened in your name without your knowledge.
  • Try to remember that if something seems to be too good to be true, it probably is.