Cyber criminals have hijacked the website of Immigration New Zealand and obtaining personal information of applicants and others who access one of the most popular online resources of the New Zealand government.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is reported to be handling the situation and trying ways and means of getting the site removed from its origin.
INZ has urged its customers to be aware of the dangers that a fake websites.
“The website appears to be a direct copy of the home page of the official INZ website, with a slight change in the domain name. Consumers receive an email appearing to be from a trusted source inviting them to click on a link to the fake website where they are asked to enter personal details into a form as part of a phishing scam. Scammers use phishing scams to trick people into handing over personal information such as personal banking details, IRD numbers, social media passwords or, in this case, passport details which can be very valuable to fraudsters,” INZ said on its official website.
The website and the forms can look very convincing. The real website has the following link – www.immigration.govt.nz – whereas the scam website replaces a full stop with a dash and is www.immigration-govt.nz.
Further details of this scam, along with advice on what to do if you think you have been the victim of a scam, can be found on the Consumer Affairs website.
Meanwhile, INZ has also been notified of an increase in scam phone calls to mainly Indian nationals living in New Zealand. These callers tell the person that there has been a problem with their visa or arrival card information and demand that they pay money into a Western Union account or face serious consequences, such as deportation.
Calls have been made using numbers showing as the Immigration Contact Centre (09 914 4100) but with a slight number variation.
“These calls are not from INZ. If you receive one of these calls, do not pay the money the caller has demanded. We advise you to contact the New Zealand Police to report the call. Although the phone scam is mainly targeting Indian nationals, all customers should be aware that INZ never calls and demands payment over the phone,” INZ officials said.
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