Misinformation and scams

Advice to help you avoid scams exploiting COVID-19, and what to do if you're concerned about price rises.

Be aware of scams

Scams and frauds exploiting the spread of COVID-19 have been noted overseas and are expected to be seen in New Zealand. They may arrive in the form of an email, text, phone call or through social media.

For more information on what to watch out for and where to report scams, visit the following websites:

COVID-19 Investment scams: Financial Markets Authority (external link)

COVID-19 Phishing and cyber scams: CERT (external link)

General COVID-19 Scam information: CFFC (external link)

Netsafe website (external link)

Scamwatch: Consumer protection website (external link)

Increasing prices during COVID-19

It is not illegal for businesses to increase their prices, however, the Fair Trading Act prohibits misleading and deceptive conduct and false representations. This means that if a business gives a reason for a price increase it must be true, otherwise the business risks breaching the law.

If you suspect a business is providing false or misleading information as to why prices have increased, you can make a complaint to the Commerce Commission.

Make a complaint on the Commerce Commission website (external link)

Complete the Price Watch form if you have concerns about price increases on essential goods or services.

Price Watch form (external link) 

Hand sanitiser with less than 60% alcohol

Hand sanitiser is good for cleaning your hands if soap and water are not available. Make sure you use a sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol.

There have been reports of sanitisers being sold that have less than 60% alcohol. These are not as effective.

How to wash your hands properly

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