New Zealanders urged to be vigilant of online scams over Easter

Kiwis are being urged to be extra vigilant of online scammers over the Easter break. 

According to Netsafe, online scamming incidents have risen 360 percent during Easter since 2017. 

It seems while many enjoy a break over the Easter period, online scammers are doing overtime.

"Scams are increasing quite significantly over Easter, actually up about four-fold over what we see the rest of the year," Netsafe CEO Martin Cocker says.  

He says it's the most dangerous time of the year to be online but Netsafe isn't exactly sure why. 

"We don't fully understand why they think that. It's perhaps that they think support services are on holiday or you know people are just more vulnerable, but we see a significant increase in scamming activity in this period."

They're hiding everywhere, online shopping, e-mails and in those pesky pop-ups - with some getting increasingly sophisticated, targeting you at your most vulnerable.

Last Easter Netsafe saw a rapid rise in cases of fake sextortion - where scammers tell you they've filmed you watching pornography and demand a ransom. Last year alone there were almost 600 complaints.

Cocker says scams are getting harder to spot: "fake shops look very much like real shops online so the important thing is to do some research." 

There are a few common signs you're being scammed which include: 

Contact made out of the blue

Being asked for passwords

Requests to verify your account details 

Offering money or a prize

Asking for remote access

Requests for unusual payments 

High pressure to make decisions quickly