COVID-19: Auckland and parts of the Waikato region are at Alert Level 3. The rest of New Zealand is at Alert Level 2. Find information about consumer impacts during COVID-19 alert levels.

Scammers are using COVID-19 as a front for scams

This page provides more on how to stay safe from scams in general so you know what to look out for. 

The COVID19.govt.nz website has some helpful links to other government resources to help you recognise and stay safe from scams. 

Misinformation and scams(external link) — Unite against COVID-19

Help a friend or family member to recognise a scam.

Steps to understand what’s happening

Scams are usually carefully planned by the people who run them. A person caught in a scam could be unaware of what’s happening, even as they continue to give money to a scammer who is tricking them.

It can be difficult to recognise or understand it’s a scam when you’ve been promised an opportunity that could improve your life.

If someone you know is caught in a scam, use this worksheet to help them understand it and take action. The worksheet takes you through steps to confirm the scam and advice on what to do next.

Help a friend or family member worksheet [PDF, 401 KB]

If you have noticed or been caught in a scam, report it to Netsafe.

Report a scam

Scams are complicated, connected and avoidable

Being scammed can be an isolating experience. It’s good to remember that scams succeed because they look like the real thing.


Larson: 14, 15, new record!

Officer: Fools

Chief: Settle down, settle down. Compose yourself Smith, you look unwell. Sanders, what's happening across town?

Sanders: We've had 400 unexpected cases this week.

We've had phone calls emails through here. We've had door knocking through here.

It's all centring a big spike right here.

Chief: I think you are getting a sense of things. Smith, Larson, I need updates. How'd the bust go?

Larson: "Operation Hoover" Ma'am, mission accomplished.

We staked it out in the morning and saw the deal go down.

Scammer: Hi!

Smith: He had the whole offer down pat.

The top-of-the-line vacuum cleaner, deal of a lifetime.

Chief: And how did the undercover do?

Larson: She played her role quite well Ma'am and we got to say...

The scammer looked legitimate; he had the uniform, the ID.

Chief: And you got it all on tape?

Smith: Hidden camera Ma'am it's all on record.

Smith: It was the perfect scam Ma'am.

Larson: Until we busted him.

Chief: Well done team. Now, a good scam is?

Officer: Unexpected Ma'am.

Chief: Smith?

Smith: Too good to be true Ma'am.

Chief: Finally, Larson...

Larson: Looks legit ma'am.

Chief: Now get out there and bust some scams!