With people being stuck at home and not able to pay for services other than on-line, there are a number of email scams around at the moment and impossible to detail them all.
New Brighton Residents Assn Chairperson Celeste Donovan says some of these are quite sophisticated and identifying them can be difficult for the best of us.
“Popular targets are government /council sites we trust, for instance a coastal resident alerted me to a scam where you are contacted and directed to a link on the New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA) webpage to claim a refund.
Or to notify you of the need to renew your registration despite your vehicle being road legal.”
NZTA says here’s how to tell it’s not a genuine email:
- If you’re not expecting a refund, don’t click on links or enter your personal or payment details anywhere.
- Our genuine refund emails include an attachment with specific details about your refund, like your vehicle plate, the refund reason, and the date you did a transaction with us.
Scammers won’t know your specific details, so won’t include them or use fake, incorrect details.
A phishing scam is an email, call or text from someone pretending to be us. They’ll try to get your personal information (like your driver licence number or credit card details). They may trick you into paying for something that seems legitimate, like your vehicle licence (rego).
If you’ve received any communication from us that you think is suspicious, please let us know immediately.
How to spot a phishing scam
- We’ll only send you an email if you’ve contacted us first, or you’ve signed up to receive email notifications and reminders from us.
- Genuine emails from us come from @nzta.govt.nz, @enews.nzta.govt.nz or @reply.nzta.govt.nz
Scam email addresses may look similar, but won’t be correct (scam examples include nzta.co.nz, nzta.gov.nz, nzta.qovt.nz, nzta.nz, nzta.com).
- The email, phone call or text may be threatening.
- It might be missing specific details that you’d expect us to know. For example, when we email you to say your vehicle licence (rego) is due, we include your specific details like your plate number, vehicle make and rego expiry date. Scammers don’t know that specific information, so can’t include it.
- It might include buttons or links that are malicious and will take you to a fake website. Hover your mouse over buttons or links (but don’t click on them) to see if they’ll take you to a genuine government (govt) website.
Celeste Donovan says the advice is for any situation if you think you’ve received something suspicious:
- Don’t click on any buttons or links in the email. Hover over them with your mouse to view the website address they’ll take you to.
- Don’t give out your personal details, driver licence details or payment details.
- Don’t reply to the email.
- Complete a Report a phishing scam form if there is one on the webpage, then move the email to your junk folder.
- Check that your device is protected by anti-virus and anti-spyware.
You can also report it to the following:
If you’ve hovered over buttons or links in an email, and you’re unsure whether you can trust them, don’t click on them.
If you’ve provided your credit card or banking details..
Contact your bank immediately and ask them to stop the suspicious payments. You may also need to request a new credit/debit card. Cancelling the card will stop anyone from being able to use it.