Online scams and fraud

Online scams and frauds exploiting the spread of Covid-19 have been increasing globally. Opportunistic scammers are using the public interest in Covid-19 to implement online and phone scams spreading their malicious cyber activity via email, text or through social media.

We are proactively monitoring the risk of customers being taken in by scams or other unauthorised or fraudulent schemes. Obtaining your personal information and financial details is a common practice of online scams. Your online security is important to us and we encourage you to stay vigilant and think twice before disclosing your personal information. Here is what you need to know about the types of possible online scams and tips to help protect your personal information.

A common Covid-19 related scam is a so-called 'phishing' attack via email or text with messages that appear to have legitimate Covid-19 information. For example, scammers are trying to trick people in to donating to a fake World Health Organisation Covid-19 response fund, to view fictitious safety measures or to purchase protective personal equipment from fake websites. These links may not be legitimate and are an attempt from scammers to install malicious software on your device in order to access and steal your personal information and money.

Some signs that you may have received an email phishing scam include requests to provide your password or verify your online account or for remote access to your device. Mercer will generally not ask you to provide your password or login credentials or other personal information such as your bank account details via email or text message.

Please see below some tips to avoid these online scams and protect your personal information:

  • Visit official Government websites for the latest Covid-19 updates and be sceptical of advice that does not come from official sources.
  • Protect your passwords and login credentials used to access your various online accounts and avoid using the same password for multiple websites.
  • Update your details through your online account or call us if in doubt.
  • Take care with the personal information you share on social media.
  • Notify us immediately of any change to your name, address or other contact details.
  • If you’re unsure if an email, text or any other communication is genuinely from a legitimate source, don’t click on the link or open the attachment. Contact the organisation via their official contact channels and ask.

More information can be found on our Security page or via any of the following websites:

https://covid19.govt.nz/individuals-and-households/misinformation-and-scams/
https://www.netsafe.org.nz/
https://www.cert.govt.nz/
https://www.ncsc.govt.nz/covid-19/

14 May 2020