What to do if you think you have been scammed

1. Stop all contact with the scammer 

Once you realise you are being scammed, do not continue the conversation. Hang up the phone. Don’t reply to emails or letters scammers have sent you. If you have been scammed online, block the scammer from contacting you.

2. Do not make any more payments 

Some scammers target people caught in recent scams, e.g by pretending to be an enforcement agency that can return all of your money for a fee. Don’t give money to anyone on the promise they will get your lost money back

3. Contact the bank or service you sent money through 

If you are the victim of a financial scam, credit card scam or identity theft, contact your bank immediately. The sooner your bank knows about it the greater the likelihood of getting the money back.


What to do later

Assess your security at home and online

If your personal or financial information has been given out or stolen in a scam, change all of your online passwords on a device not linked to the scam. Use a different password for each account. If your computer or phone has been hacked in a scam, take it to an authorised technician to be cleaned.

CERT NZ are experts in cyber security. See their website for tips on simple ways to improve your cyber safety.

Protect your information online(external link) — CERT NZ

Equip yourself to recognise scams

Anyone can be caught unaware by a scam. Take time to learn about the approaches scammers use and how you can protect yourself.

Talk about what happened

Telling your friends and family about the scam is one of the best ways to take action. It can be hard, but sharing your story is worthwhile because scammers rely on people being secretive. Every person you talk to will be better prepared to avoid scams in the future.


Report a scam

Reporting a scam is important, whether for yourself or on behalf of someone else. Reporting puts you in touch with someone who can give advice specific to your situation. It also helps other people avoid similar scams.  

Scams can be reported to Netsafe, Cert NZ, NZ Police, The Department of Internal Affairs and individual telecommunication agencies. Each cover a specific area of content and has a role to play in protecting people from online scams and spam.

Report harmful online content 

Report harmful content(external external link)(external external link)  — Netsafe

Report scam websites or security issues with your device 

Report an issue(external external link)(external external link)  — CERT NZ

Report money lost in a scam 

105 (Ten-Five) Information(external external link)(external external link)  — New Zealand Police

Report investment scams

Report a scam(external external link)(external external link)  — Financial Markets Authority

Report spam texts or email

How to report scams(external external link)(external external link)  — Department of Internal Affairs

  • Help others

    Help a friend or family member to recognise a scam.