As the Covid-19 vaccine rolls out, watch out for scammers preying on the vulnerable.
Crown agency CERT NZ (the Computer Emergency Response Team) is warning the public to stay vigilant after it was notified of a series of different scams.
The con artists are requesting credit card and personal information in return for a Covid-19 vaccine.
The first scam involves a phone call advising that the vaccine is available for $49.99.
People are then prompted to enter their credit card details.
The other scam asks people to head to a website where people can ‘vote’ in order to be eligible for the vaccine.
CERT NZ advised people in both instances to hang up the phone and make a note of what number the call came from, as well as the time and date it happened.
“We are actively working to put a stop to these scams as quickly as possible,” the agency said.
If bank details have been provided then people should contact their bank immediately, it said.
Meanwhile, in another hoax, people claiming to be from the World Health Organisation are asking email recipients to donate to the Who Covid-19 response fund.
Tricksters have also been targeting people with coronavirus-themed phishing emails with infected attachments containing fictitious safety measures.
The link, supposed to contain health information, installs malicious software designed to steal personal information.
In another scam, victims are asked to fill in their email and password to access information about Covid-19.
Emails are also being sent demanding money from victims to avoid video footage being circulated of the recipients in compromising positions.
Newer variations of this con are threatening to spread coronavirus to family members if a ransom is unpaid.
Security researchers have identified a new campaign where the attackers claim to have a ‘coronavirus map’ application that people can download onto their devices.
In fact the application is malware designed to steal sensitive information such as passwords.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM COVID-19 SCAMS:
CERT NZ recommends anyone looking for COVID-19 information looks to their regular news sites and official government websites.
The organisation urges people to be sceptical of advice that did not come from official sources.
If you are unsure if a communication is from a legitimate source, do not click on the link or open the attachment.
Contact the organisation through their official contact channels to verify.
Protect your passwords and login credentials, don’t enter these into any websites relating to the COVID-19 virus.
Keep your devices up-to-date.
Keep your anti-virus up to date and run regular checks.
Report suspected malware or phishing attempts to CERT NZ.
Go to www.cert.govt.nz... for more information.
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A facelift is set to roll out on Queen St, in Auckland's CBD.
Wide boardwalks, seating and native plants in planter boxes will soon replace the plastic sticks and temporary footpaths on Queen St between Customs St and Shortland St.
Auckland Council has unveiled plans to remove emergency Covid-19 works in the area and create a pocket park on the corner of Queen St and Fort St.
Auckland mayor Phil Goff said Queen St was due for an upgrade.
“We want the street to be more people-friendly and attractive, and to become a place to visit, rather than just pass through,” he said.
“Last year, temporary measures were put in place by Auckland Transport to allow physical distancing during the pandemic. It’s now time for the yellow markers, stone blocks and painted asphalt to be replaced. "
Extended decking pavements, shrubs in proper planter boxes and street furniture will help change the look and feel of the area, Goff said.
These measures would be trialed before permanent changes were made following feedback from businesses, shoppers, visitors and residents, he said.
“Queen Street has taken a hit from COVID-19, with the loss of tourists, cruise ships and international students."
Goff said the council, businesses and residents needed to work together to help the area recover from Covid-19 and become a vibrant place to shop.
The upgrade will enhance other transformations including the refurbishment of the Chief Post Office, the creation of Te Komititanga, the new public space outside Commercial Bay, and Te Wananga, the new space being built over the water by the ferry building, he said.
Meanwhile, Aucklanders are being invited to give their feedback on a proposal to create bus lanes on sections of Queen St.
The changes are touted to improve reliability as more buses use the street during the next phase of the City Rail Link construction.
What do you think of the improvements to Queen St?
Which changes would you like to see there?
*Please put NFP if you do not want your comments used by Stuff.
People have until May 7 to have their say on the changes at: