5 Dec 2019

Cyber scam and fraud reports up 20 percent

6:44 am on 5 December 2019

Reports of cyber scams, fraud and 'credential harvesting' are on the rise in New Zealand.

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At least 1354 scam alerts were reported from July 1 to September 30 this year. Photo: 123RF

The third-quarter report from government cybersecurity watchdog CERT NZ shows a 20 percent increase in scam and fraud reports and a 27-percent increase in 'credential harvesting' - or trying to get someone's login details.

People and businesses reported at least 1354 incidents to CERT NZ from 1 July to 30 September this year, the highest number in any quarter since its formation in 2017.

The agency's director Rob Pope said there was a $3.8 million direct financial loss - but that was down 42 percent.

Emails containing webcam blackmail threats were steadily increasing, and rose 28 percent in the quarter.

Mr Pope said the holiday season would bring an increase in attempts to exploit New Zealanders' trust in email and online shopping, so people should be extra vigilant and avoid clicking suspicious links.