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IDCARE as New Zealand’s national identity and cyber support community service has been engaged by Pacificezy to assist community members who have concerns about the exposure of their personal information due to the Pacificezy cyber incident.
IDCARE advises Pacificezy customers to:
Be on the look out for emails, phone calls and text messages purporting to be from Pacificezy, financial institutions, telecommunications carriers, Government or other response agencies that request that you click on a link, provide personal or credential information, or request that you provide remote access to your device. Unfortunately, scammers and cybercriminals leverage privacy breach events in seeking to deceive community members to provide personal, account or credential information, infect devices, or motivate individuals to perform actions as part of a scam. IDCARE recommends:
IDCARE has formed response recommendations relating to the credentials potentially exposed as a result of the Pacificezy cyber incident. Please refer to your incident notification for specifics on what information of yours was exposed.
Individually, these are both low risk identity attributes, however in combination with other information (such as address and phone number) scammers engaging you may appear more legitimate.
You may see an increase in targeted phishing attempts via email, text messaging or telephone calls, where the scammer uses details specific to you (such as your name and date of birth for “verification”). For more information on phishing watch IDCARE's what is phishing video here --> https://www.idcare.org/how-to-videos/what-is-phishing.
Never click on links in emails or text messages, no matter how legitimate they appear. Do not be pressured to respond, whether it is by email, text message or telephone. If you want to know whether an organisation tried to get in touch with you, contact the organisation yourself using contact details you know are correct.
Keep being scam vigilant and stay across the latest scams by regularly visiting idcare.org, connecting with our social media, and subscribing to our free online newsletter Cyber Sushi. Another great resource is Scamwatch that collate lots of information and alerts about scams.
The phone number will be the one associated with your Pacificezy account. This could be your mobile or a landline/home phone number.
The exposure of a phone number can leave you open to being targeted by spam or scam phone calls.
These can appear to be from legitimate phone numbers with local area codes.
They often claim to be an authority or organisation, such as the police, a telecommunication company or a government entity.
The scam-caller may frame the call with a sense of urgency, either in order to avoid a penalty (such as a payment or fine) or to receive a reward (such as a discount).
Scammers may send fraudulent SMS messages to the phone number. These may impersonate a legitimate organisation and include a link to a malicious download or scam website.
For more information on SMS scams please visit IDCARE's fact sheet --> https://www.idcare.org/fact-sheets/sms-scams.
Keep being super vigilant about scams, particularly telephone and SMS scams. Having a little bit of information exposed (such as your full name, address, date of birth, or phone number) can make the job of scammers much easier when convincing people about their deception.
Do not feel pressured to respond to a call or text message. If you think a call may be legitimate, hang up and call the organisation back using details that you know are correct. Do not accept that it is the real organisation because the Caller ID shows their correct number or name – these can be “spoofed” or masked to appear to be real.
Do not download apps or software (such as AnyDesk or TeamViewer), follow technology instructions, or allow remote access to your device to someone who has called you.
Do not click on links in text messages. Instead, contact the organisation using details you know are correct.
If you think a call may be legitimate, hang up and contact the organisation yourself using contact details you know are correct. Don’t automatically accept it’s the real organisation calling you because the caller ID shows their correct number or name: they can be manipulated to seem genuine.
The Email Address will be the one associated with your Pacificezy account.
You may see an increase in email phishing attempts, particularly from scammers claiming to be from Pacificezy. These emails may include malicious attachments, links to fake websites or may download malware onto your device. They may encourage you to update or verify your details or to access a reimbursement via a link.
There is also the risk that your email address may be “spoofed” so that it appears to the recipients that the email came from you.
Additionally, there is the potential for extortion attempts, whereby a criminal claims to have access to your information and threatens to release it unless you provide payment. It is important not to comply with such requests, no matter how convincing they may appear.
You can report extortion attempts to the police and or ReportCyber.
Continue being super vigilant about scams and phishing emails. Having a little bit of information exposed (such as your full name, date of birth, email address or phone number) can make the job of scammers much easier when convincing people about their deception.
Beware of phishing emails, including those asking to update billing details, pay invoices or apply for reimbursements.
Never click on links in unsolicited or unexpected emails, no matter how legitimate they appear.
Do not be pressured to respond to emails. Instead, contact the organisation directly using contact details you know to be correct.
Use an up-to-date antivirus application that includes email protection and scanning.
The physical address will be the one associated with your Pacificezy account.
For most individuals, physical addresses are considered low risk identity attributes. However, in combination with other attributes (such as your full name, date of birth, email address and phone number) scammers engaging you via email, SMS or telephone may appear more legitimate.
Reports made to IDCARE of cyber criminals physically attending a person’s address are very low. Most scammers and cybercriminals are not in New Zealand.
Some people can have specific concerns about the exposure of their address details, such as survivors of family and domestic violence or as a result of other personal reasons.
You may wish to discuss your concerns around physical security. You may engage an IDCARE Case Manager with these concerns, please book a time via our Get Help for Individuals Form.
Please refer to your incident notification to determine whether this credential may have been exposed. If notified that your passport was exposed, this is likely to have occurred when these details were provided at the commencement of your Pacificezy account.
A passport can be used by identity criminals, much the same as a driver licence. The photo on a passport is not necessary to enable a criminal to exploit these details. What is most commonly exploited on a passport is the personal details, the passport number, and expiry date. Rarely does IDCARE hear from community members who have exposed passports about the use of their passport at the border by someone impersonating them to travel. Border security makes travelling on a compromised passport very difficult.
However, passport information can be used to establish new accounts in a person’s name, and in some cases deceive either a person or an organisation into providing access to existing accounts.
New Zealand Passport Recommendations
For New Zealand passports, DIA can place a flag on your passport which will alert DIA if an application is made to replace or renew your passport. DIA call centre staff have been unable to confirm with IDCARE if the impacted individual will also be notified of a renewal or replacement attempt.
According to the DIA, a flag on your passport will not prevent:
However, a flag may delay processing of your own application for a replacement or renewal passport.
To place a flag, contact DIA online or call 0800 22 50 50.
If you choose to replace your passport, you can apply for a new passport with DIA online. This will automatically cancel your current passport, but an application fee will apply.
Passports issued in countries other than New Zealand
If you are not in your home country, please contact your embassy or consulate to make a report and discuss whether it is necessary to organise a replacement document. Please note, if you are in New Zealand on a student visa, any changes to your passport may have implications for your visa. Find your nearest embassy or consulate in Australia or New Zealand. If you are in your home country, contact the government organisation responsible for issuing the passport.
Please refer to your incident notification to determine whether this credential may have been exposed. If notified that your driver licence was exposed, this is likely to have occurred when these details were provided at the commencement of your Pacificezy account.
A driver licence is the most common credential used by identity criminals. The photo on a driver licence is not necessary to enable a criminal to exploit these details. What is most commonly exploited on a driver licence is the personal details, card number, driver licence or Customer Reference Number, and expiry date that are commonly misused.
Driver licence information can be used to establish new accounts in a person’s name, and in some cases deceive either a person or an organisation into providing access to existing accounts.
New Zealand Driver Licence Recommendations
Driver licence numbers cannot be changed in New Zealand. When you renew or replace your driver licence, you will be issued with a new 3-digit version number, and your old licence will be automatically cancelled. In New Zealand, both the licence number and version number are required to approve most credit and non-credit applications. Driver licences can be replaced if they have been lost, stolen, misused or potentially compromised.
For more details, useful links, and contact information, please see IDCARE's Fact Sheet on NZ Driver Licences.
Pacific Ezy have advised IDCARE that, for some individuals, a partial image of a credit/debit card may have been compromised. Please note, this was not a full disclosure of the bank card details, the numbers were partially concealed.
Misuse with partial bank card details is unlikely. Please be aware though, the initial card number(s) can identify who the card issuer is (for example: Visa or Mastercard), so be mindful of the potential for impersonation scams and always undertake external verification checks with the organisation directly by calling their main phone number.
If you are concerned about your bank card details, please speak with your financial institution, and explore with them what additional security measures they may have available to protect you.
Always remain scam vigilant and follow the points made above.