What is cybercrime?

Criminals use an array of online or electronic means to access, acquire or modify restricted data such as personal information, banking credentials or credit card details. Most fraud and scams these days have a cyber component to them.

Cybercrime includes:

  • Phishing
  • Malware
  • Data breaches
  • Hacking
  • Denial of service attacks (Ddos)
  • Botnets
  • Online scams or social engineering
  • Identity theft.

Things to look out for.

You don’t need to be afraid to access your banking or other services online. But there are a few things you should look out for and take steps to prevent.


Phishing consists of fake emails and text messages with embedded links or attachments that direct to malicious sites or prompt malware to be installed. Criminals use phishing to steal personal information and/or banking details and commit fraud.

Find out how to avoid phishing

Online shopping

Online shopping is fast, convenient and a great way to avoid the crowds, but there are a few things you need to know to avoid getting duped or landing your credit card details in the wrong hands.

Find out how to avoid online shopping scams

Online marketplaces

Online marketplaces are a common and convenient way to buy and sell goods. However, scammers can pose as both buyers and sellers, to try and scam you out of money or items you might be looking to sell or purchase online.

Find out how to avoid buying and selling scams

Protect your computer and devices with security measures.

Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software

Get protection from viruses and spyware by installing reputable anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Choose a reputable software provider. Once installed, keep your computer protected by:

  • updating your software regularly
  • setting your computer to automatically check for new virus definitions regularly
  • performing regular full scans of your computer, at least weekly
  • backing up your devices so you can easily recover your data if necessary
  • enabling the screen self-lock function on your devices.

Keep your browser and operating system up to date

From time to time, security weaknesses or bugs are found in browsers and operating systems. Make sure you:

  • update your operating system as soon as a new version is released
  • install updates to all your applications as soon as they are available
  • apply new security patches to software as soon as possible
  • avoid downloading programmes, installing software or downloading files unless you can confirm it is from a reputable site and you have a genuine reason to do so.

Using other computers or devices

Avoid using computers or devices that don’t belong to you, or that others can access freely. If you are using a shared computer:

  • ensure the computer has the latest anti-virus software, and anti-spyware software installed
  • always log out of online accounts when you are finished using them
  • enable two factor authentication for online accounts
  • password protect any sensitive information such as identification documents or electronic signatures
  • do not store passwords or password managers on a shared computer or device unless you can ensure they cannot be accessed by a third party, for example by using Face ID technology.

Public Wi-Fi

This is not secure. Never log into online banking or other services that hold personal or sensitive information using public Wi-Fi. Instead, use mobile data if a private Wi-Fi connection is not available and use the personal hotspot feature on you smartphone.

 Is your computer infected?

Seek advice from a qualified and reputable computer technician if you:

  • Are experiencing any unusual activity on your computer, such as unusual icons or extra toolbars appearing, programmes freezing or changes to your homepage that you didn’t initiate
  • Have clicked on suspicious links or attachments
  • Have given someone remote access to your computer
  • Believe that your computer has been hacked.

In some cases, unobtrusive or covert issues – such as keyboard logging or spyware – may not be obvious. You should review your bank statements regularly and make sure all transactions were initiated by you.

Report a scam.

Email us

If you believe you have received a suspicious email, you can forward it to us. 

Email phishing@westpac.co.nz

Talk to us

Need further help?

Call 0800 400 600

Report to other agencies

Once you have spoken to us, you should report scams to other agencies so that they can take steps to prevent other people being targeted by them and losing money. 

Things you should know.

Payments that you authorise yourself are generally not considered fraudulent. It’s likely that you will be liable for any losses incurred and it can be difficult to recover the money once the payment has been made. Take care when making payments and ensure you take steps to protect yourself from scams.