Unsolicited phone calls or text messages

Have you received a phone call or a text message from an unrecognised number claiming to be from us? If so, it could be a scam. Read on to learn more about this type of scam and what to do if you come across it.

What are unsolicited phone calls or text messages?

Be wary if you get a call or a text message from someone claiming to be from your bank (including us - Kiwibank), credit card provider, or a general 'tech support' company. They might claim they're contacting you because there have been suspicious transactions on your card or bank account or that your computer has been hacked or infected with a virus or malware.

Scammers may also call or message you from an unknown number, or via messaging Apps like WhatsApp, pretending to be a loved one in difficulty and in need of money. They might claim that they've lost their phone and this is their replacement number.

Scammers may try to get you to disclose personal information such as your login details or password. They might also try to convince you to install software that allows them remote access to your computer. Don't tell them anything and don't give them access to your computer.

Caller ID spoofing

Also watch out for caller ID spoofing where the caller ID on your phone displays a different number to the one being used to make the call. For example, the number shown on your screen could look like the Kiwibank 0800 number, which behind the scenes it is a different number. Scammers use this technique in the hope that you will answer if it appears to be coming from a local number or trusted organisation. Find out more about caller ID spoofing at idcare.org.

Report it

If you receive any suspicious text messages, please forward these to 7726. The NZ Telecommunications forum website has information on how to notify your phone service provider, so they can look into it and block the number if necessary.

Tips to avoid unsolicited phone calls or text messages

  • Never share your password or PIN with anyone, even if they claim to be from your bank or another trusted organisation.
  • If you think the person might legitimately be from your bank or another company you deal with, get their name and call the company back on their official support number, which you should be able to find on their website.
  • Contact us on 0800 113 355 to let us know the phone number that's been calling, or texting you, and we can get the number blocked for you.
  • If you're unsure of a person's legitimacy when they're claiming they're a loved one and in need of money, offer to ring them back on a trusted/known number or ask them a personal question to confirm their identity.
  • Maintain a healthy level of caution with unknown or blocked numbers.
  • Never let someone talk you into giving them remote access to your computer. They could be installing dodgy software that will enable them access to all of your personal and financial information.
  • If you think you're talking to a scammer, politely say no to whatever they're asking you to do and hang up. Don't be tempted to get into an argument or try and trick them, as they may then put you on a 'harass list' and you'll find yourself fielding endless nuisance calls.
  • Record the time of the call or text message and the phone number. If you receive multiple calls or texts from the same number you may be able to report them to your phone provider as a nuisance caller. You can also report them at netsafe.org.nz/report.
  • Report text message spam to the Department of Internal Affairs.

If you've shared personal information

  • Change your passwords.
  • Read the Identity Theft Checklist for a helpful guide on what could happen with your personal information if you've shared it with a scammer.
  • If you think you've been exposed to identity theft, contact iDCare for free help and support.

If you've given someone remote access to your computer

  • Disconnect your device from the internet at your wifi router and turn it off immediately. This will stop the scammers from having remote access to your device. If you're not sure how to do this call a trusted friend or family member to help. If you’re worried that something may have been loaded onto your device, don't log back on until you have had your hard drive re-formatted and your operating system re-installed. You may need to seek the advice of a computer specialist to do this – remember to backup any essential files beforehand.
  • Change all your passwords using a different device, so the scammers can’t use your account. This includes passwords for your banking, social networking, email and trading accounts like TradeMe as well as other accounts like TAB. Learn how to choose a strong password.
  • Run a full security scan. If the scammers had access to your device, they may have installed malware on it. Malware is a piece of software that can be put on to a device to damage, harm or gain unauthorised access to a computer system. If you think there may be malware on your device, talk to an IT specialist who can confirm if there is and get rid of it for you. You can use a free online virus-scanner to look for threats on your computers. If you have a PC try ESET online scanner or Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool. Once you've run one of those scans, run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware free edition. If you have a Mac, use Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac or ESET Cyber Security for Mac or AVG Antivirus for Mac.
  • If you use online banking, contact your bank to let them know you’ve been targeted. Keep an eye on your accounts and check statements for rogue purchases.

Helpful resources

What to do if you've been scammed

Anyone can fall victim to online scams. If you suspect that you've been scammed, get in touch with us as soon as possible.

Get in touch

Call us on 0800 113 355 (or +64 4 473 1133 from overseas) if you think you've been scammed.

Report suspicious activity

If you think you’ve been sent an email that doesn’t look like it’s from us, forward it to suspicious.email@kiwibank.co.nz.