Scammers are apparently already attempting to take advantage of people wanting to donate to quake recovery funds.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs is warning that email scams are surfacing in the wake of Tuesday's Christchurch earthquake.
It says several reports have been received by Scamwatch and NetSafe of scammers using the disaster as an opportunity to prey on the goodwill of New Zealanders.
And the Charities Commission says it knows of at least one hoax email referring specifically to Tuesday's earthquake.
The commission's chief executive Trevor Garrett says the scam asks people to give their bank account details which the scammers could then use to clear their accounts.
Mr Garrett describes the scammers as "absolutely disgusting" and he is advising people to check the commission's website to establish whether charities are legitimate.