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Malicious text message hits New Zealand

03.59pm 19 November 2020

Customs has received approximately 60 calls over the last two days and a handful of emails from the public.

Customs customers and staff have been receiving text messages on their private and work phones to click on a link for a UPS package and pay for an unpaid customs charge. 

Please remember: Customs never contacts individuals or businesses about the arrival of goods in New Zealand because goods are not physically received by Customs.  All imported goods are delivered to warehouses run by licensed freight forwarders which are known as Customs-controlled Areas.  Freight companies contact their client/s when import tax is to be paid.

For more information advising clients how and when goods arrive in New Zealand and when tax is payable or not:

Customs advises customers not to respond to these recent suspicious texts and to contact UPS NZ or report the matter to the Police.

The Department of Internal Affairs has a TXT spam service which collects reports on malicious scams. If you receive a suspicious text message, forward the message to 7726. More details about this service can be found on the DIA's website.