AUT will warn students of Covid-19 scam

August 23, 2021

AUT will warn students of Covid-19 scam

AUT's city campus where a positive Covid case attended a lecture on Tuesday. Photo: supplied

AUT has confirmed it will warn students they should watch for Covid-19 scams after revelations that students from Lincoln University had received fake text messages telling them they had tested positive for the virus.

The text message shown to Stuff said: “Your Covid-19 test has returned positive. We will contact you with further instructions.”

The message claimed to have been sent by the University Health Centre.

The University of Canterbury issued a statement telling students to delete the message immediately if they received it.

A spokesperson for the university issued the following statement to TWN:  “We were alerted to a scam text message aimed at Lincoln University students and alerted our University of Canterbury students to this on Friday as a precaution.

"We understand the scam did not affect University of Canterbury students.”

Other New Zealand universities including AUT, the University of Auckland, and Victoria University of Wellington said they were familiar with the scam at Lincoln but were not aware of anything similar happening to students at their universities.

AUT confirmed it would warn students of the potential for the scam to hit them in "upcoming communications".

While Covid-19 scams tend to be conducted through email, the national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) provided some advice for people striking Covid-19 scams in New Zealand through other means.

The advice included double checking text messages with your healthcare provider or official government resources if you are unsure about the source or authenticity.

CERT was approached for comment on the Lincoln case but at the time of publishing had not issued a statement.

To find out more about Covid-19 scams or to report one please contact CERTNZ or email covid@ops.cert.govt.nz

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