BEWARE Covid-19-related online scams

By Belinda Hirst | Posted: Friday March 27, 2020

With home internet use set to rocket during the shutdown period, people should be on the lookout for online scams exploiting their fears about the Covid-19 pandemic, BNZ has warned.

The bank says it has seen a rise in Covid-19 phishing emails in recent weeks, including one purportedly from the World Health Organisation offering coronavirus information that, when clicked, installs malicious software. Another online scam offers a “Covid-19 infection map” application that claims to track the progress of the virus around the world. When installed, it steals passwords and other sensitive information.

While most people will have experienced a surge in Covid-19 emails from companies where they are a customer, those companies should never use those emails to ask for personal information. “If they do, that’s a huge red flag,” said Ashley Kai Fong, BNZ head of financial crime.