Netsafe Alert Supermarket scam

Netsafe has had a spike in reports about scammers using Countdown, Pak’n Save, New World, Harvey Norman brands in text and email scams. If you’ve received a text message or email claiming you’ve been selected to take part in a survey or receive a prize, you might be the recipient of a scam.

These scams try to trick people into sharing payment information like credit card details claiming it’s to be used for the shipping of a prize (often a phone). The scams generally say that you’ve won a prize (e.g. supermarket voucher or a mobile phone) or that you could win a prize by completing an online survey. You will then be directed to a webpage where you’re asked for your details and potentially your credit card details to pay for the shipping of the prize.

We recommend you delete any correspondence. If you’re still unsure if the contact is genuine, please contact the retailer it claims to have come from if you want to check the authenticity by using the publicly listed information available on their corporate website

Examples of the scam




  1. Don’t respond to the message, and don’t open any links that might be included.
  2. If your mobile phone has features that allow you to block specific phone numbers from sending you text messages, block the scammers phone number.  You can check with your phone provider to see if your model of mobile phone supports this blocking feature.
  3.  Delete the scam text message.


  1. Don’t respond to the email, and don’t click on any links that might be included.
  2. Block the scammers email address. The simplest way to do this is to mark the email as junk mail. When an email is marked as junk mail, your email filter will learn to redirect emails from that scammers email address away from your inbox.


  1. Close the page the scam message lead you to.
  2. Check for malware on the device you were using at the time. Malware is malicious software such as a computer virus. You can use a free online scanner to look for threats on your computer. Netsafe can’t recommend a particular product but we have listed some options here from well-known, reputable companies that are suitable for home computers.
    For PC: ESET online scanner or Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool. After this scan has been completed, you can run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware free edition.For Mac: Bitdefender Antivirus for MAC or ESET Cyber Security for Mac or AVG Antivirus for Mac are also good alternatives.
  3. If you’ve opened the link on your mobile you can contact your phone company for advice on how to check for and remove malware. Please be aware that this can include ‘factory resetting’ the device which will delete everything you have saved (including photos).


  1. If you have shared any bank account information you should report the incident to your bank immediately. This includes credit card information.
  2. If you have sent money using your credit card you can speak to your bank about applying for a charge back. If you have sent money via an online money transfer platform (such as Bitcoin) the transaction is likely untraceable, and you may not be able to get your money back.
  3. If you have replied to the email with any sensitive personal information, this Identity Theft Checklist is a helpful guide on what could happen with your information. If you believe you may have been exposed to identity theft, we suggest you contact iDCare as they provide free help and support.

Report a scam

Netsafe is able to offer support and advice to people who have lost money in a scam or might be about to. We can’t open investigations or track scammers This includes letting you know the steps you can take depending on the scam and giving advice about how to stay safe.

Our help service is open from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 5pm on weekends.

Report a scam

For SMS based scams you can also make a report to the Department of Internal Affairs by free texting ‘7726’.

Information from Countdown

This information about Countdown, comes from the official Countdown website.

Emails from Countdown

If an email you received doesn’t look like an email you’d usually receive from Countdown, doesn’t come from a Countdown email address, has a .zip file attachment or there is any mention of an international address, then this is likely a scam. Customers should be cautious about any email that offers free shopping at Countdown.

Businesses like Countdown and other major retailers or airlines are frequently targeted because we have large customer bases and do often run competitions so communications from us can seem quite plausible.

Countdown Facebook page

All our Facebook competitions are featured on our Facebook page and all our Onecard Competitions are featured on our website so you can always check if an offer or promotion is legitimate. If you have any doubts, please contact us immediately on 0800 40 40 40.

Countdown text messages

From time to time, we do send out promotional text message communications to those customers who are opted in to receive them. These messages will come from the number 800. To see if you are opted in to get text messages from us, make sure you’re logged in to your Onecard account, and then check your Text Settings under “Your Profile”. Here, you can also opt out of text message communications from us.

For our online shopping customers, you will receive text message updates about your order from the number 4141 for Delivery and 5872 for Pick Up.

Countdown surveys 

Countdown does run legitimate customer surveys. These are either run on our behalf by Inmoment and promoted via a link printed on the till receipt shoppers get in store, or customers would have had to agree to join our survey panel at some point previously and the prizes for these surveys are Countdown gift vouchers.

From mid-November 2017, we have launched our Countdown Listens survey via email. This email is sent to customers who have signed up to receive Research emails from Countdown. To see if you are signed up for Research emails, make sure you’re logged in and then check your Preference Hub page by clicking on “My Details”.

More information

Keep up to date

Follow us on social media for alerts, news and tips – or sign up to our monthly newsletter.

Facebook   Twitter