Christchurch tragedy-related scams and attacks

Sadly, in the wake of the recent tragedy in Christchurch, opportunistic online scams have started to circulate. Reports made to Cert NZ include:

  • Online donation fraud
  • Malware embedded in video files
  • Defacement of New Zealand websites
  • Denial-of-service.


Attackers and scammers are using the Christchurch incident as an opportunity to perform online cyber-attacks against New Zealanders. In the reports that Cert NZ have received, the scams and attacks follow these formats:

  • Phishing emails containing links to fake online banking logins. These emails also contain fraudulent bank accounts where victims can make donations for the Christchurch tragedy.

  • Sharing malicious video files on compromised websites or on social media. A video file containing footage related to the attack had malware embedded in it and this malicious file is being shared online.

  • Attackers changing New Zealand websites to spread political messages about the Christchurch tragedy.

  • New Zealand websites receiving threats of denial-of-service attacks, which would take them offline.


There are official channels to donate money to the victims of these tragic events. So, please remember to seek out official platforms and banks rather than using links in emails or on social media.

BNZ customers can use the CHCH APPEAL payee in mobile or internet banking to ensure their donation reaches the right account. Simply drag the account you’d like to pay from onto CHCH APPEAL in ‘Quick Pay’ to start your payment. Detailed instructions here.

If you’re suspicious of an email you’ve received, or if you suspect you’ve been taken in by a scam, contact BNZ on 0800 ASK BNZ (275 269) or +64 4 924 0499 as soon as possible.


Honestly couldn’t believe the news when I saw scammers jumping on this :-/