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Warning: Scammers Look To Cash In On Devastating Floods

New Zealanders are being warned about fake charities and flood insurance scams, attempting to take advantage of New Zealanders’ generosity during this distressing time.

Heavy rainfall continued to batter New Zealand’s north island, causing landslides, flash floods and knocking out roads, with the missing people and death doll rising. This devastation has seen many people displaced and in need of financial aid. Unfortunately, this means there is room for scammers to take advantage of the compassion of New Zealanders by posing as legitimate companies and asking for money to help flood-affected communities.

Stephen Kho, Cyber Security at Avast has the following tips for New Zealanders to protect themselves from phishing scams in this time of charitable donations:

  1. Look carefully at the sender's address. Attackers usually have an email address that has nothing to do with the company they claim to be from. Phishing attacks are becoming increasingly difficult to detect because the attackers use a variety of personal information that we share about ourselves online and use new technologies to send us sophisticated personalized emails.
  2. Do not click, download or reply. If you feel the email looks suspicious, don't click on any links, download any attachments, or reply. Even if it comes from a person or institution you know. It is safer to enter website URLs directly into the browser. Also, never enter your bank information on the web unless the word "Secure" appears in the address bar.
  3. Beware of emails that want to invoke fear. Phishing attacks are likely to tell you that your account has been suspended, that you have not paid any fees, or that someone has tried to rob you, and that you need check now at this link. All this is just a game with your fear aimed to extract your valuable personal data from you.
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