The Government's cyber-watchdog says a bomb-scare email doing the rounds is probably an opportunistic scam.

But until it is proven otherwise, people should treat it seriously and dial 111 if they receive it, Cert (the Computer Emergency Response Team) says.

New Zealanders have reported receiving threatening emails that claim an explosive device is hidden in the recipient's office, and will be detonated unless an amount of ransom in bitcoin is paid, Cert says.

If you receive the email, Cert says:

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• Call police on 111
• Do not respond or try to contact the sender.
• Do not pay the ransom or take any further action until you have spoken to New Zealand Police.
• Keep the email as evidence to pass to New Zealand Police. Do not respond or try to contact the sender.

Cert was established in May last year as a first point of contact for people or businesses hit by cybercrimes.

The agency can be contacted via cert.govt.nz or 0800 CERT NZ (0800 2378 69).

Cert recently warned about a 35 per cent increase in financial losses to cybercrime, with a webcam blackmail scam fuelling the rise.

Cert NZ director Rob Pope. Photo / Supplied
Cert NZ director Rob Pope. Photo / Supplied