News

More New Zealanders are being scammed when buying online

Jun 18, 2024

CERT NZ’s latest report shows New Zealanders reported more online scams in the first quarter of 2024 and also lost more money.

online scams image

If you’ve lost money while buying things online, you are not alone. Online shopping scams are on the rise, according to CERT NZ’s latest quarterly report, with New Zealanders reportedly losing more than $400,000 to online scams. 
 
Online scams are common. You may have come across fake websites on your social media feed trying to sell you tickets to a rugby game, or branded shoes at throwaway prices. You may have seen a post from an airport selling “lost luggage” or a fraudulent website selling fake day passes to a zoo. Or you may have paid someone for a TV cabinet listed on an online marketplace and never heard back. 
 
“People behind these scams are professionals and it can be hard to spot their fake websites or profiles. If you are about to buy anything online, you should pause and check before you click,” CERT NZ Acting Director Sue Critchlow said.  
 
“It can be as simple as checking the URL of the website you are on. Fraudulent websites impersonate real companies but their URLs are always a little different.” 

Untitled design 1

Fraudulent websites have URLs and webpages that look just like those of the organisation or company they are trying to impersonate.

CERT NZ received close to 250 reports of scams while buying and selling online in the last quarter.  

“We know scams are underreported and the actual figures are much higher than that. We encourage New Zealanders to report all online incidents, big or small, to CERT NZ,” Critchlow said. 

 

You can report an online incident to CERT NZ using the reporting tool.