Scammer posing as Lotto NZ targets Kiwis with fake text messages

Lotto NZ is urging New Zealanders to be wary of fraudulent text messages after a scammer posing as the company sent a message to an Aucklander.

The scam message said “Lotto” is looking for certain people in the suburb of West Harbour.

“It’s regarding the selection of your name,” it said.

The message also contained a link.

Lotto NZ head of communications and corporate social responsibility Marie Winfield said the company had seen an increase in customers reporting scams over the past few months.

“This has included customers telling us that they have received text messages from parties posing as Lotto NZ, saying they want to get in contact with them.

“We recommend that people stay vigilant when it comes to scams, especially at this time of year when people may be more vulnerable to scammers.”

Lotto does send text messages to certain customers who’ve subscribed for the “text to play” service which are sent from the number 3361, Winfield said.

Netsafe chief executive Martin Cocker said the Lotto NZ text is a new variation of a scam seen over the past couple of years.

“This scam has previously had iterations as a supermarket scam and the UPS scam.”

Thousands of Kiwis have been targeted by bogus text messages recently about an unpaid Customs charge for a package delivery.

“The UPS scam has been gaining traction as the year progresses and Netsafe has received thousands of reports related to this scam.”

This quarter the average number of reports about the UPS scam each day are up 375 per cent compared with the same time last year, Cocker said.

Of the people making a report to Netsafe about the UPS scam, 8.4 per cent have lost money, he said.

Some New Zealanders received the message as recently as this week.

The text is sent by an Australian phone number and claims there is an “unpaid Customs charge” and to click a link to pay the charge.

The fake messages try to trick the recipient into clicking a link, then submitting personal information, such as credit card details, Cocker said.

The information can be used to access the recipient’s accounts or to sell to another scammer, it said.

“It is particularly prevalent at this time of year as more people are shopping online and expecting a package so potentially more likely to fall for it.”

Anyone who receives a fake message should delete the message immediately and not click on any links.

Source: Read Full Article