Internet scams and fraud
What is spamming?
Spamming is the unsolicited bulk emailing of commercial/sale messages.
The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) has etablished an Anti-Spam Unit to investigate complaints about spam from the public and act against New Zealand spammers.
See www.spam.govt.nz website for more information.
Common scams sent by spam email
- Get rich quick schemes - offering opportunities to earn thousands of dollars a week, but your earnings may be dependent on selling the scheme to others.
- Nigerian fee scam - this age-old scam offers you a percentage of millions of dollars in exchange for letting the sender use your bank account to transfer the funds out of where they are currently held. The Nigerian letter has many variations. For more information see http://www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/scams/scam-types/upfront-money-transfer-scams. An American perspective is available at http://www.scambusters.org/NigerianFee.html. New Zealand IT commentator Bruce Simpson describes his experience with this scam at http://www.aardvark.co.nz/daily/2001/0517.shtml. If you have never received a Nigerian fee scam email see http://internet-fraud.com/internet-fraud/ for examples.
- Prize notifications - you are told you have won a prize in a lottery you haven't entered. But, you have to pay money to the operators before they will release the money. For more information see Ministry of Consumer Affairs' Scamwatch
- Internet auction scams - where buyers use stolen credit card numbers to buy high price items. Sellers may also try selling a lot of items at once then take the money and run. In many cases the fraudster is based overseas. See Consumer's report on online auctions.
- Phishing - Phishing attacks use 'spoofed' e-mails and fraudulent websites desig