• Patrick McBride


Be on the lookout for a scam vehicle licence email that is in circulation again. While the email appears to be a standard vehicle licensing (rego) renewal reminder, with the NZ Transport Agency logo and links to the online transaction website, it is part of a sophisticated phishing exercise.

If the email does not include your specific vehicle details, do not complete the online renewal transaction webpage that the email takes you to. If you think you’ve received a scam email, or you’re unsure, call NZTA on 0800 108 809.

How to spot a phishing scam:

• NZTA will only send you an email if you’ve contacted them first, or you’ve signed up to receive email notifications and reminders.

• Genuine emails come from @nzta.govt.nz

Scam email addresses will look similar, but won’t be correct (scam examples include: nzta.co.nz, nzta.gov.nz, nzta.qovt.nz, nzta.nz, nzta.com).

• It might be missing details that you’d expect NZTA to know. For example, an NZTA email to say your vehicle licence (rego) is due, includes details like your plate number, vehicle make and rego expiry date. Scammers don’t know that specific information, so can’t include it.

• It might include buttons or links that are malicious and will take you to a fake website. Hover your mouse over buttons or links (don’t click on them) to see if they have a genuine government (govt) website address.

If you think you’ve received something suspicious:

• Don’t click on any buttons or links in the email. Hover over them with your mouse to view the website address they’ll take you to.

• Don’t give out your personal details, driver licence details or payment details.

• Don’t reply to the email.

• Send the email to NZTA at reportscams@nzta.govt.nz then delete it. If you can, create a new email and attach the scam email to the new email when you send it. If you can’t, just forward the scam email. Please include the word ‘scam’ in your email subject line.

• Check that your device is protected by anti-virus and anti-spyware.

If NZTA confirm they think the communication is a scam, you can also report it to your local police, CERT NZ or Netsafe.

If you’ve provided your credit card or banking details:

Contact your bank immediately and ask them to stop the suspicious payments. You may also need to request a new credit/debit card.

If you’ve provided your driver licence details:

Email info@nzta.govt.nz to cancel your current photo driver licence card and arrange for a replacement (it will cost $38.20). Please include the word ‘scam’ in your email subject line.

Cancelling the card will stop anyone from being able to use it.