Christchurch earthquake: update on latest scams - ANZ emails, computer virus phone calls, 'government' phone calls.
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In the weeks since the Christchurch earthquake we have seen a number of scams appear, of which we have issued scam alerts about here on Scamwatch. Thank you to those who report these scams to us so we know what scams are circulating.
Since then there have been a number of variations on previously seen scams, and a couple of new scams reported to us:
Bank phishing email scams
This started with fake emails from "Joanne" claiming to work at ANZ and went on to request bank details. This was then followed by another email claiming to be from Kiwibank. More recently, another email has appeared and claims to be from ANZ...
The scammers are even using the earthquake information logo from ANZ's homepage. Obviously, you should delete this email immediately and don't respond.
Computer virus phone calls
A number of known scams currently circulating - the computer virus phone calls in particular - are using the earthquake as a reason to call. We have had reports of scammers saying the earthquake has caused their computer to become infected and they are endangering other computers in New Zealand.
This is a scam. Any phone call out of the blue should be treated with extreme caution. If in doubt, hang up.
Government department phone calls
We have had a concerning report that someone is passing themselves off as a caller from the "Ministry of Economic Development's Civil Defence Unit". No such unit exists within the Ministry of Economic Development.
The advice is simple:
- Be cautious – if you get an unsolicited call and the caller requests personal information, it may be a scam. Hang up and verify who they are by independently finding their contact details from a trustworthy source such as a phone book and contacting them directly.
- Protect your personal information and financial details – don’t provide your details to anyone who has contacted you out of the blue who you don’t know and trust. Even if they claim to be from a reputable company or Government department it may still be a scam.