Car registration scam remerges with Kiwis warning others to watch out for it

  • 18/09/2022

A rego renewal scam claiming to be from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has reemerged and started making the rounds again. 

It originally appeared in 2021 but has reemerged lately with Kiwis taking to Reddit to warn others about the scam.  

A user highlighted the scam by posting a picture of the legitimate-looking email and urging people to beware. 

And it caught Kiwis' attention with one person commenting, "This post is right on time. I just got one of these. While another person added, "Looks legit, dam that's scary (sic)". 

The scam comes in an email and tells Kiwis their license plate number is about to expire and gives an expiry date that is generally on the same day as the email is received.

NZTA told Newshub scammers are "very persistent". 

"Their use of both fake vehicle licensing and driver licence reminder emails and texts are known problems," a Waka Kotahi spokesperson said.  

"Waka Kotahi works with Police, CERT NZ and Netsafe to combat these activities, but they are persistent and constant threat."

NZTA says the email is fake and contains links that direct people to an illegitimate website that looks identical to the real one. 

NZTA warned Kiwis about the scam last year saying genuine refund emails include an attachment. 

"This is part of a sophisticated phishing campaign designed to harvest customers' credit card and driver's license information," NZTA said in a post on their website. 

"The email doesn't include specific vehicle details like the make or plate number, and the expiry date most likely won't match the one on the rego label on your vehicle.

"If you've recently received an email asking you to renew your rego, please check the email details carefully. If the email was genuinely sent from Waka Kotahi, it will include your specific vehicle details including your plate number, vehicle make and expiry date of your current vehicle license."

Kiwis are urged to take care and if anything seems suspicious not to click on any links or provide personal details. 

NZTA says anyone who thinks they've received a scam email, or if they're unsure, should contact them on 0800 108 809. Phishing emails can also be reported online here

If you've unintentionally clicked on a suspicious link and entered your personal, driver's license, credit card or banking details, NZTA recommends: 

  • Contact your bank immediately and have them stop any payments that may have been made. You may also need to request a new credit/debit card.
  • Contact Waka Kotahi at or on 0800 822 422 to cancel your current photo driver's license card and arrange for a replacement (it will cost $38.20). Please include the word 'scam' in your email subject line.
  • Report the email to your local Police cyber-crime division.
  • Report the scam to Waka Kotahi.
  • Don't delete the email. Instead, put it in your junk mail folder in case the police need it for further examination.
  • Go to the Netsafe website and read their advice. It's a very helpful resource for cyber safety.