Another earthquake scam discovered

4:23 pm on 24 February 2011

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has reports of another more sophisticated scam trying to take money from people donating to the Christchurch earthquake relief effort.

The ministry says the email scam is designed to look like it is from the Red Cross, but it directs people to a fake website where it asks for credit card details.

On Wednesday, the ministry said several reports had been received by Scamwatch and NetSafe of scammers using the disaster as an opportunity to prey on the goodwill of New Zealanders.

The Charities Commission says it knows of at least one hoax email referring specifically to the quake.

Commission 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.