In 2017, over $10 million dollars in losses were reported to Netsafe. The average loss was $10,771, the biggest loss was $480,000 and the smallest loss was $1. There was $1.4 million lost to romance scams. These are only the scam losses that were reported to Netsafe. In reality, we know these numbers are much higher.

Although scams are constantly evolving, there are few common online scams that crop up often and a few steps you can take to help protect yourself.

Protecting yourself

Here’s a few tips to help protect yourself from scams:

  • Think twice when you’re unexpectedly contacted – even if the person says they’re from a legitimate organisation like the bank or your internet provider.
  • Don’t respond to phone calls or contact about your computer asking for remote access to fix it. No one is going to contact you out of the blue about a problem with your computer.
  • Legitimate organisations will never ask you for your passwords. Use good, strong passwords on online accounts – and don’t tell anyone what they are.
  • Keep your personal information secure. Think carefully before entering your details online, or giving them to someone.
  • If you’re using an online trading or booking website or app, don’t communicate or pay outside of the website or app.
  • If someone offers you money or another offer, but you have to make a payment up front, ignore it. This is a common tactic of scammers.
  • Don’t give money to people you have entered into a relationship or friendship with online.
  • Use a good antivirus and keep your software up to date. This will help to protect your device from someone trying to access it.
  • Be wary of unusual payment requests. Scammers try to use payments that can’t be traced such as pre-loaded debit cards, gift cards that can be used online, iTunes cards or money transfer systems.

If you’re not sure if something is legitimate or genuine you can contact us for free advice seven days a week on 0508 NETSAFE or visit

Protect information that can be used to access your accounts, build a fake online presence or impersonate you:

    • Login details and passwords to any online account including banking, email, social media and trading sites
    • Bank account and credit card details
    • Address
    • Phone number
    • Birthdate
    • Personal information linked to the security questions on your online accounts
    • Driver’s license
    • Passport details

Report a scam

If you would like to report a scam so that we can add it to our database to track trends and keep other Kiwis safe please complete our online report form.

If you have lost money or personal information or think you are about to, contact us by emailing or by completing an online report form.

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

More information