Protect yourself
Me āhukahuka ki ngā waea tāware

Recognise scam calls

Find out how to spot a fake phone call trying to scam you, and what to do if you get one

What they are?

An unexpected call claiming to be from a trusted organisation (like a bank) and then asks you for personal details.  

Learn more about phone scams

Although you can’t prevent scam calls, there are things you can do to make sure you recognise one. Look out for the following:

  • An unexpected call from an organisation.
  • A sense of urgency to act now.
  • A request to download software, transfer money, or provide access to devices or accounts.

How to protect yourself

Firstly, it's a good idea to always follow these three top tips:

  1. Use different passwords across your online accounts.
  2. Use a password manager if you struggle to remember them.
  3. Turn on two-factor authentication where possible. 

Extra protection and advice

There are other ways to protect yourself from scam calls.

These include:

  • If you are unsure of the caller ID, don’t answer a phone call.
  • If you think you have received a scam call, check to see if it was legitimate by contacting the organisation directly through their official phone number or other official channels.
  • Never share your personal information – like passwords – with anyone.
  • Never access sensitive information, like your banking, during a remote access session.
  • Contact your phone provider for advice. Most companies will provide a service that prevent scammers from calling, such as caller display, incoming caller blocking,  and anonymous rejection.

Get help

If you gave personal details

If you gave over personal details to the caller, then:

  • hang up
  • call the organisation the scammer claimed to be from using on its publicly listed telephone number to check if the call was legitimate and report the call.
  • change any passwords you may have given to the caller.
  • turn on 2FA where possible.
  • be wary of follow-up calls from the scammers.
  • report the phone number to your telecommunications provider.
  • block the number, so you don’t receive any more calls.
  • report the scam to the NZ Telecommunications Forum

How to reports scams - NZ Telecommunications Forum

If you gave someone access to your device

You may have given a scam caller access to your device. If this has happened, then:

  • do a virus scan and remove any new apps or software you didn’t install yourself.
  • check your bank account and report any unauthorised payments to your bank.
  • if you accessed any accounts during the scam or have your passwords saved on your device, including your browser, you will need to change all your passwords.

If you made a payment or gave out banking credentials

In the situation that you have parted with money or given out your bank account login details, then:

  • contact your bank immediately.
  • change the password to your internet banking and banking app on your phone.

Report the issue to CERT NZ

You should also report an online or cyber security incident to us at CERT NZ.

Report an incident