The Ministry of Consumer Affairs in New Zealand has issued an alert for donors to charities handling the Christchurch earthquake disaster following the release of a scam email which appeared to be sent by the Red Cross.
The scam email directed donors to a fake phishing website asking for donors' credit card details.
"There could be a number of these fake emails and fake websites surfacing in coming days," the Ministry warned, advising that "authorities are looking to close these sites as soon as possible, but more will likely appear."
The Ministry issued guidance for donors to identify scam emails. Scam emails typically come from a generic email address such as a gmail account, often contain spelling and grammatical errors and offer a 10 per cent cut for receiving funds, it advised.
The New Zealand Charities Commission also issued advice for donating to quake recovery stating that it is best for donors to give to large, well-known charities which "have better networks, infrastructure, expertise and systems in place".