Source: New Zealand Transport Agency
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is urging people to be on the lookout for widely distributed ‘phishing scam’ e-mails which direct recipients to a counterfeit website to renew their vehicle licence (rego).
While the phishing emails have been circulating for more than a year, Waka Kotahi says scammers are likely to try to capitalise on the upcoming holiday break to catch people off-guard during the business of Christmas and New Year.
These phishing emails are not from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. They are part of an ongoing phishing scam which leads people to a counterfeit website. If you receive one of these messages you should delete it immediately.
Since Waka Kotahi first issued warnings about a similar phishing scam in late 2019, several new versions of the original phishing e-mail have appeared. Waka Kotahi is working with Police, CERT NZ and Netsafe to combat the scammers, but they are persistent, and no sooner is one phony website taken down than another appears.
Here’s what to look out for, and how to protect yourself:
- A genuine vehicle registration reminder email sent from the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency will include your specific vehicle details (eg your plate number, vehicle make and the licence expiry date on the rego label on your vehicle).
- If you receive an email doesn’t include your specific vehicle details, or you think there’s anything suspicious or incorrect, do not complete the online renewal transaction the email links you to. If you think you’ve received a scam email, or you’re unsure about anything, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A phishing scam is an email, call or text from someone pretending to be us. They’ll try to get your personal information (like your driver licence number or credit card details). They may trick you into paying for something that seems legitimate, like your vehicle licence (rego).
At first glance these e-mails or texts may appear to be legitimate, so Waka Kotahi is providing tips (see below) to help you spot and report a phishing scam, as well as advice on what to do if you’ve received something suspicious or if you think you’ve provided your personal details to a scammer.
If you’ve received any communication from us that you think is suspicious, please let us know immediately. You can use this link:
We can confirm if it’s legitimate or a scam. The sooner we know about it, the faster we can act to protect you and everyone else.
How to spot a phishing scam
- We’ll only send you an email if you’ve contacted us first, or you’ve signed up to receive email notifications and reminders from us.
- Genuine emails from us come from @nzta.govt.nz or @reply.nzta.govt.nz
- Scam email addresses will look similar, but won’t be correct (scam examples include nzta.co.nz, nzta.gov.nz, nzta.qovt.nz, nzta.nz, nzta.com).
- The email, phone call or text may be threatening.
- It might be missing specific details that you’d expect us to know. For example, when we email you to say your vehicle licence (rego) is due, we include your specific details like your plate number, vehicle make and rego expiry date. Scammers don’t know that specific information, so can’t include it.
- It might include buttons or links that are malicious and will take you to a fake website. Hover your mouse over buttons or links (but don’t click on them) to see if they’ll take you to a genuine government (govt) website.
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