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Protect yourself from online theft and fraud

It's most effective right now to contact us through our digital channels - you can also read more about our measures to help with the COVID-19 response.

March 2020 update – COVID-19 scams

As COVID-19 takes hold, scammers are becoming more sophisticated in their phishing attempts, and you may get emails or communications from scammers attempting to obtain your personal information or financial details. There are three key COVID-19 related scams doing the rounds:

Text message scams
There have been a number of reports of COVID-19 themed scam text messages that have a link that claims to direct people to testing facilities. Although these have come mostly out of Australia, there is no reason New Zealand related scams wouldn’t be started as well. The link contained in these messages is not legitimate and instead may install malware (malicious software) on your device that’s designed to steal your personal information, such as banking details.

Phishing emails claiming to have updated COVID-19 information
Intelligence from the UK has highlighted that individuals have been targeted by coronavirus-themed phishing emails, with infected attachments containing fictitious 'safety measures’. Instead of the attachments containing health information, it instead installs malicious software on your device that’s designed to steal personal information.

We’ve also been made aware of similar emails being circulated internationally that encourage people to fill in their email and password before they can get information on COVID-19. These are not legitimate, and instead are again an attempt to steal personal information.

Fake coronavirus maps
Security researchers have identified a number of campaigns where the attackers claim to have ‘coronavirus maps’ that people can download onto their devices. Instead, these maps contain malware, designed to steal sensitive information from the device it is downloaded onto, such as passwords.

Please also keep the following in mind:

  1. Legitimate organisations will never ask you for your passwords
  2. Scammers often try to use payments that can’t be traced such as a pre-loaded debit card, gift cards or money transfers
  3. Never provide remote access to your device unless you have actively sought out the service they are providing
  4. Scammers also pressure victims to make a decision quickly. This could be to avoid doing something bad (e.g. account being closed) or to take advantage of something good (a deal or investment)
  5. Be cautious if contact is out of the blue – even if the person says they are from a legitimate organisation such as your internet provider or bank
  6. Do not respond or click on communications asking you to verify your account details, especially for a service you have not actively sought.

We take fraud seriously at Vodafone New Zealand and we're committed to protecting our customers from the risk of fraud.
If your phone has unexpectedly stopped working and is showing “NO SERVICE”, it’s possible that your number has been fraudulently ported to another carrier without your authorisation. Please contact your bank immediately. As a precaution your bank can temporarily disable your online/mobile banking to prevent unauthorised access to your bank accounts.

If you suspect you’ve been a victim of a scam or fraud involving your Vodafone account, please contact our New Zealand-based Fraud Team at The inbox is monitored between 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday.

Most online fraud happens when someone gathers enough information to pretend they are you. They might steal your mobile device and get information off it. They could contact you with an offer that sounds too good to be true, or ask you to urgently provide details to avoid a major problem, such as your account being locked. Some will send you an email that includes a link to a website or login page that looks exactly like the real thing, but lets them collect the information you enter.

Tips for keeping your identity safe

These tips will help you avoid being a target for fraudsters if you have a mobile device where you use or store your credit card or personal details online:

  • Set a password (not something easy to guess like 1234) on your phone, laptop, or tablet and keep them locked when not in use.
  • If your phone is lost or stolen, tell us straight away - call 0800 800 021 or +64 9 355 2007 from overseas.
  • Never share your passwords or PIN numbers and make sure they’re not easy to guess.
  • Set up a PIN for your voicemail, so only you can access it.
  • Be cautious with personal information on social networking sites, like Facebook or chat rooms. If possible, remove your date of birth and address from your page. Ensure that you have adequate privacy settings for your Facebook profile.
  • Don’t give anyone your personal details, unless you’re very sure you know who they are. Just because someone says they’re from your bank doesn’t mean it’s true.
  • Selling your phone? Do a factory reset to remove all your personal data first - find out how in our interactive user guides.
  • Think you’ve been the victim of a scam or fraud? Contact your bank and put a stop on your credit card, tell your local police, and change the passwords and PIN numbers on all your bank accounts.
  • Buying online? Make sure the site address starts with HTTPS. This means the website is secure and your personal details and credit card details will be kept secure.
  • Lost or stolen device? Hop onto a PC and change all your passwords of the apps that have auto logins, for example Facebook, Email, Twitter. This will prevent the person who picks up your device from accessing these apps and potentially hacking into your personal details

How to spot a scam

If something seems too good to be true, it usually is. Delete or ignore it. And if somebody is asking for important information (usernames, passwords, bank account details) don’t reveal a thing. Scams can arrive by phone, email, in the post or in person. You have every right to be highly suspicious of unexpected communications.

Watch out for phishing

One of the most common scams you'll come across online or on your mobile is 'phishing'.

Indicators of a phishing scam

  • A phishing scam usually begins with an email that looks like it's from a genuine business - like a bank or phone company
  • Email addresses are odd. For example, the email appears to be from Vodafone, but doesn’t end with
  • Spelling is often poor and you may not be addressed personally (Dear Sir/Madam instead of your name)
  • It might ask for personal details - like usernames, passwords and PINs - and will often ask you to take urgent action
  • There's normally a link to click on, which takes you to a fake website. The web address may contain the name of the business but it will not be in the proper format for the business website
  • If you click on the link, you’ll then be asked for personal details that no credible business or organisation would ever ask for. Remember that the businesses you’ve signed up with already have your details, so they don’t need to ask for it again
  • Never enter and submit your details into a form like this. It will lead to your identity being ‘stolen’, which could result in money being taken from your bank accounts
  • Phishing is sometimes done via TXT message – you might be asked to click on a link or call a number. Delete the message, never phone that number (you could be charged a lot of money) and never click on the web link – it could infect your device with a virus
  • Some emails come with an attachment. Do not open the attachment as it could contain a virus that could damage your computer.

What to do if you’re being phished

If you receive a phishing email or a TXT, do not reply, do not click on the link and definitely do not provide any of your personal details. A reputable business will never ask you for your PIN or password by TXT or email.


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