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Fake account a reminder for online vigilance

Ministers’ release: 20 April 2018

Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran is urging people to report any suspicious activity on their Facebook accounts to CERT NZ.

Ms Curran says all New Zealanders who are active online are vulnerable to having their accounts compromised or fake accounts created to trick their online communities.

Fake Facebook accounts are a common online scam and can be used as part of social engineering campaigns to gather personal or financial information. CERT NZ is able to provide a range of advice on protecting genuine accounts,” Clare Curran said.

“The need for vigilance was brought home to me this week when a fake account surfaced using my identity.

“I reported the issue and followed CERT NZ’s advice, changed my Facebook password and upgraded my password protection.

“In order to further protect Facebook accounts, CERT NZ recommends people check if there have been any unexpected or suspicious logins. It’s easy to do through the settings option.

“CERT NZ also has useful information on reporting fake accounts to Facebook.

“It’s frightening to think someone is impersonating you online and CERT NZ is there to help people sort out issues and feel safe again online. Each report helps build a better understanding of the sorts of threats New Zealanders face online each day,” Clare Curran said.

CERT NZ, New Zealand’s Computer Emergency Response Team, has a range of advice on how to stay safe online on their website including a guide on cyber security and social media.

If you’ve been affected by a cyber security issue, you can report it to CERT NZ online anytime at www.cert.govt.nz, or on 0800 CERT NZ (0800 2378 69), 7am – 7pm, Monday to Friday.


Updated on 2nd May 2018