Scammers are using forged invoices to swindle New Zealand businesses out of expensive electronic equipment.

Police have received several reports of the scam over recent weeks.

The scammers use false email addresses that look similar to the domains used by well-known universities.

They then send forged university invoices to businesses, requesting electronic equipment such as hard drives, cameras, computers and phones.


The goods are sent to a New Zealand freight company, which has been instructed to forward the goods on to an overseas address.

By the time the company goes to the university with a bill, the equipment has already left the country, making recovery impossible.

The confused university would point out it had no knowledge of the order, and the supplier would be left out of pocket.

Police warn all companies should be on the alert for this scam.

The original email is often written in poor English, and will have a false address and phone numbers.

Police advise businesses to check with the relevant university to make sure the order is legitimate, before sending any electronics.

Anyone who has had a suspicious email, or thinks they've been the victim of this scam, is being asked to contact Detective Sergeant Michael Cartwright on 09 212 9391.

Businesses can also contact their local police station.