Scammers who said they were calling on behalf of a telecommunications company gave a Whanganui woman a "horrid" time during the level 4 lockdown and took $11,000 from her bank account.
She got a phone call on her landline on August 19, saying her computer had been hacked and telecommunications company Spark wanted to help.
The caller said Interpol was involved and showed her pictures of people he said were well-known scammers. He wanted to access one of her bank accounts.
Several people appeared to be involved, she said. Among them were men with the names Mike and Dave, who had foreign accents.
The woman, who doesn't want to be named, was frightened when she started getting text messages on her cellphone, with one telling her to send $3000 to a Kiwibank account in three minutes.
"It's been horrid, because you are at their beck and call," she said.
She has informed Whanganui Police and contacted security at two of her banks. She also shut her computer down completely, which is inconvenient in a level 3 lockdown.
The lockdown also made it hard for her to talk to the banks directly, and she will be unable to use her computer until it can be fixed in level 2.
During the lockdowns last year there were extra scams about, and New Zealanders are warned to be on the lookout while they spend extra time online for shopping and communicating.
The Whanganui woman fell victim to the fairly common "Spark technician scam", Spark New Zealand corporate relations partner Cassie Arauzo said.
Scams are more common during a lockdown because people are more likely to be at home and near their phone.
Spark has been getting reports about the technician scam, and made a warning Facebook post about it on August 25.
"Spark would never call out of the blue and ask for access to your computer or to any personal information."
Victims should make sure they reset all their passwords, Arauzo said, so scammers can't go back into their computer by logging in from a distance.
Ashley Kai Fong, head of financial crime at the BNZ, told NZ Herald money editor Tamsyn Parker people needed to be vigilant and learn how to recognise scams.
Research by the BNZ has found four out of five Kiwis have been targeted by scams and nearly a quarter have fallen victim to a scam.
Kai Fong said remote access scams were the most common ones at the moment.
"What will tend to happen is somebody will get a call out of the blue - [with the scammer] either reporting something wrong with your modem or they have noticed some irregular transactions on your account - usually about $1800.
"They will then ask the victim to download remote access software."
Kai Fong said downloading that software on to a computer, cellphone or iPad gave the scammer total access to everything on that device as well as anything the user did on that device, such as logging into internet banking.
Anyone getting a call with these kinds of requests should question why the caller would need access to your internet banking - especially if they are purporting to call from a telecommunications company.
"And if it is supposedly coming from a financial institution, why that financial institution would need access to your internet banking. We already have those records. We would never ask anyone to download remote access software."
He said backing away from the call and hanging up was the best policy.
He urged victims of scams to report them.
People can find out more at www.getscamsavvy.co.nz.