Misinformation and scams

How to recognise COVID-19 misinformation and scams.

Getting the right information matters

Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your whānau and your community from COVID-19. There is some misleading information out there about the vaccine — here’s what you can do to make sure you have the right information.

Get the facts

You can find the most accurate and reliable information about the COVID-19 vaccine and the rollout in Aotearoa from a number of trusted sources, including:

  • Unite against COVID-19 — Information for all New Zealander’s on how to get a COVID-10 vaccination, out vaccination plan and information on vaccine safety and development.
    Unite against COVID-19 (external link)
  • Ministry of Health — The Ministry of Health leads New Zealand’s health and disability system and has overall responsibility for the management and development of that system.
    Ministry of Health (external link)
  • Te Puni Kōkiri Karawhiua campaign — Karawhiua is a campaign to help whānau, hapū, iwi, and Māori communities make an informed choice about the COVID-19 vaccine. It's led by Te Puni Kōkiri (Ministry for Māori Development), co-delivered by Te Hiringa Hauora (Health Promotion Agency) and supported by the Ministry of Health and the Unite Against COVID-19 teams.
    Karawhiua (external link)
  • Ministry for Pacific Peoples — As part of the New Zealand Government’s response and Unite Against COVID-19 campaign, MPP has launched a complementary campaign about receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
    Ministry for Pacific Peoples (external link)
  • Ministry of Health list of DHBs and contact details — DHBs are responsible for ensuring the provision of health and disability services within their regions. You can also find trusted information on the website of your local DHB, including information on vaccinations in your local area.
    District Health Board websites — Ministry of Health (external link)

You can also keep up to date with current information and frequently asked questions by following these organisations’ social media channels, or by speaking with your health provider.

Unite Against COVID-19 has social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. You can also sign up for emailed newsletters, including one focused on vaccine.

How to spot misinformation

Protect yourself and others by knowing how to spot misinformation.

Helpful tips from CERT NZ:

  • Ask yourself where the information is coming from, and what the author wants you to believe.
  • Just because an article looks good or reads well does not mean the quality of the information in it is reliable. Many sources of misinformation are well produced.
  • Before sharing a story it’s important to check if it’s credible. You can do this by checking where the original story appeared, who is promoting it, and what other people are saying. For instance, do a Google search of the information or the organisation it has come from, and read what trusted reliable sources (such as academics or the mainstream media) say about it.

Reporting scams and misinformation

Scams and frauds exploiting COVID-19 may appear by email, text messaging, instant messaging, phone call, or through social media.

Remember:

  • the COVID-19 vaccine is free
  • you will never be asked to pay for the vaccine or pay to secure your place in the queue
  • we will never ask for your financial details, your bank card details, PIN or banking password.
  • official information about the vaccine will come from a trusted provider of health content, such as the Ministry of Health, Unite Against COVID-19, or your District Health Board
  • a health worker will never come to your home to give you the vaccine, unless arranged with you beforehand
  • if you receive an email, phone call, text message, or instant message asking for financial details in regards to the vaccine it will be a scam. Report it to CERT NZ immediately.

If someone requests your financial details, or you find false or misleading information on leaflets, websites or elsewhere, report it immediately to CERT NZ.

Find out how to report a COVID-19 scam or misinformation — CERT NZ (external link)

Social media

If you see content on social media that you believe to be false or misleading, you can report it to the hosting social media platform. Here’s how to do it:

More information

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