Stay safe online – Covid-19
1 April 2020
Keep yourself safe online during Covid-19
A number of scams are known to be circulating following the Covid-19 outbreak. It’s important to keep ourselves digitally safe as well as protecting our health. Make sure that you and your family are aware of how to spot an online scam and how to report it.
An online scam is any scheme designed to trick people out of money or steal their personal information that uses, or is delivered via, digital communications. Here are a few tell-tale signs you might be being caught up in a COVID-19 scam:
- Being asked for passwords– legitimate organisations will never ask for the passwords to your online accounts
- Needing to verify your account or details– don’t respond or click on any links in the communication even if it looks like it’s from a real organisation
- Unusual ways to pay for something– scammers try to use payments that can’t be traced such as pre-loaded debit cards, gift cards, bitcoins, iTunes cards or money transfer systems
- Asking for remote access to your device– never do this unless you have actively sought out the service they are providing
- Pressuring you to make a decision quickly– this could be to avoid something bad (e.g. account being closed, trouble with the IRD) or to take advantage of something good (a deal or investment)
- Contact that is out of the blue– even if the person says they’re from a legitimate organisation like your bank, health or internet provider
The best thing you can do if you notice any of the signs above is to stop, get some advice or look for more information. If the person contacting you has said that they are from a legitimate organisation and you’re not sure, you can also contact that organisation to check.
Make sure that you use the phone number or email they have on their official website or in the phone book – and do not use the one given by the person or in the email they have sent you.
Visit Netsafe for more information about this and other online safety advice.