ANZ warns customers to be vigilant about cost of living payment, IRD refund phishing scams

ANZ Bank
Warning: Fake tax refund, cost of living payment messages being used to scam Kiwis Photo credit: Getty Images

ANZ Bank in Aotearoa is warning customers to stay vigilant amid new phishing scams asking them to click links or make payments via email and text.

The bank said its customers were receiving a variety of messages claiming to be from the IRD and New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA).

The messages include a link said to help them receive a tax refund, a cost of living payment or to renew a vehicle license registration, ANZ said.

Instead, the links lead to a fake website where people are asked to enter information including internet banking login details, credit card details, driver license and other personal details.

Anyone who receives a text or mail like this should avoid clicking on the links and immediately delete the message.

The bank also reminded customers that they shouldn't provide credit card details, internet banking login details or two factor authentication codes through links received in messages or in response to a phone call they've received out of the blue.

CERT NZ, the Government's cybersecurity agency, revealed earlier this year that Kiwis lost over $3.7 million in online scams in the first quarter of 2022 alone.

The majority of those reports were about phishing and credential harvesting, such as the new scams ANZ is warning about.

"Phishing is an incident type that has been around for decades but has evolved over that time," CERT NZ director Rob Pope said at the time.

He said that attackers were changing tactics to reflect currency events and using urgency, fear and opportunity to con people.

"Phishing is a major concern as it's simple to do, from a technical perspective, and it's a gateway to other kinds of incidents."

CERT NZ wants Kiwis to report all phishing attacks to the agency.

"Reporting phishing attempts to CERT NZ helps all New Zealanders because the sooner we learn of them, the sooner we can work with providers to take down phoney websites and stop others from potentially falling victim to a scam," Pope said.

Among ANZ's tips for remaining safe online, the bank said if you are unsure if a call is legitimate, hang up and call the bank back on their listed number.

Anyone impacted should also call their bank immediately and always access their internet banking through the official website or app, and not from links in text messages or emails.