Overseas scammers are using fake email addresses similar to those of well-known universities to try to swindle New Zealand companies out of expensive electronic equipment, police have warned.
Using a fake address, the scammer will order goods such as hard drives, camera equipment, computers and phones and ask the supplier to ship the items to a New Zealand freight company.
The freight company is then instructed to forward the goods to an overseas address.
The supplier is then left out of pocket when it bills the relevant university, which has no knowledge of the order.
Detective Sergeant Michael Cartwright says police have received reports from several businesses who have been targeted by the scam.
All of those businesses have avoided falling victim, as they have checked the legitimacy of the order.
However, Det Sgt Cartwright says companies should be aware they may be a target.
He says poor English in the initial email is a common identifying factor and the emails will often have false phone numbers and email addresses on them.
People who receive an email similar to those described should immediately contact the relevant university to check the legitimacy of the request before sending any goods.