Story image

Scammers targeting Kiwis again, this time courtesy of Countdown

20 Mar 2017

Scammers are at it again, with Kiwi consumers being warned yet again to be vigilant as scammers reset their targets.

This time, the warnings are coming courtesy of Countdown and NetSafe,  with the supermarket chain saying it is receiving an increase in reports of people receiving scam emails telling them they have won Countdown vouchers ranging from $50 to $2,500, asking people to take part in surveys to win a voucher or even confirming delivery of orders they haven’t placed.

The scam emails may include Countdown logos and ask the recipient to provide personal information, click links to claim a prize or open an attachment. The emails differ in appearance and come from a range of addresses, from supposed prize companies to photography businesses, Countdown says.

Countdown says it is strongly encouraging consumers not to give out their personal details to anyone proclaiming to be from Countdown and to avoid clicking on suspicious links or attachments in emails.

Countdown’s general manager of Corporate Affairs, James Walker, says if people are unsure whether an email is legitimate they should check the scam warnings page on www.countdown.co.nz.

“Unfortunately there are scammers targeting New Zealanders via email using the Countdown name and branding and we want to warn consumers,” he says.

“If you have received an email that doesn't look like what you'd usually receive from Countdown, comes from an unfamiliar email address or seems too good to be true, then this is likely a scam.”

Businesses like Countdown and other major retailers or airlines are targeted by scammers because they have large customer bases and often run competitions, so the communications can appear plausible.

“The scammers are not associated with Countdown and are not using Countdown data. We take our responsibilities for customer privacy very seriously and no personal details have been passed or leaked to spammers,” adds Walker.

Netsafe’s director of Outreach Sean Lyons says there has been an increase in legitimate businesses being used in email scams to make the emails appear trustworthy.

“People are lulled into a false sense of security because the email appears to be from a trusted brand, so they let their guard down,” explains Lyons.

“Scammers are becoming more sophisticated in their approaches, so it’s important to always make sure that surveys, links and requests for information are coming from a legitimate source.”

Samsung & Trade Me offer AI-powered shopping
The smartphone camera & AI-powered tech, Trade Me says, is a ‘glimpse into the future of shopping’.
Neill Blomkamp's 'Conviction' is a prequel to BioWare's Anthem
You may remember Neill Blomkamp’s name from such films as District 9, Chappie, and Elysium. If you’ve seen any of those films, the short teaser trailer will seem somewhat familiar to you.
Security flaw in Xiaomi electric scooters could have deadly consequences
An attacker could target a rider, and then cause the scooter to suddenly brake or accelerate.
617 million stolen records up for sale on dark web
It may not be the first time the databases have been offered for sale.
IBM’s Project Debater unable to out-debate human
At this incredible display of technology, the result was remarkably close but the human managed to pip the machine in this instance.
LPL to broadcast weekly programming on Sky Sports
Let’s Play Live (LPL) has now announced it will broadcast weekly programming for the rest of 2019 on the Sky Sports channel from Sky TV. 
When hackers get the munchies, they just steal McDonalds
What happens when hackers get the munchies? Apparently in Canada, they decide to put their ‘hamburglar’ gloves on and go after unwitting people who happen to use the McDonalds app.
The smart home tech that will be huge in 2019
For millennial home buyers, a generation for whom technology has been ever-present, smart systems are the features they value above everything else.