NZ Post takes three websites offline as new scam circulates

Source: 1News

A new scam where tech fraudsters use text and fake webforms that profess to be from NZ Post has led the company to take three websites offline to protect customers from the scammers.

The scam, which began circulating on January 11, sends messages to customers via text or email asking for an 'advance fee' ahead of receiving a delivery.

A NZ Post spokesperson told 1News since the fraudulent campaign began two weeks ago, the company “has received 34 reports from customers that a text message was received and taken three websites offline to protect our customers”.

The three sites refer to websites created by cyber criminals to impersonate legitimate websites.

“The goal of the criminal is convince the customer that the text message is legitimate, so that they follow the link to a fraudulent website for malicious purposes.

“If a customer receives a text message requesting that they make a payment via a website, and is not expecting a parcel, the notification is highly likely to be fraudulent,” the spokesperson said.

“The target in this case, will be based on whatever mobile numbers the cybercriminal has access to and not specific to retail/business.”

Scammers have used phishing, Facebook and fraudulent text and email communications consistently over the past several years to target NZ Post and its customers.

NZ Post uses a specialist third party service provider to take the fraudulent websites offline.

"Anyone who has concerns is encouraged to visit the security centre on our website where we often publish details of known cyber and text scams," NZ Post's spokesperson said.

A text sent by the scammers to NZ Post customers

NZ Post is urging anyone affected to report the scam or to contact the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) which supports people, communities and businesses.

The DIA says "scams attempt to look like a well-known bank or financial institution in their message and urge you to click on links and enter your bank account details, credit card information, password, passport information, home address, or even your IRD number.

"Don’t click on links in phishing emails or TXT messages. Many of these links take you to fake websites. Typing in your details could result in your bank account being emptied by fraudsters. And your computer could become infected with a virus."

Online safety organisation, Netsafe has developed an online tool for scam spotting and offers a few tell-tale signs for helping people to thwart a tech fraudster.