Other types of fraud - what we don't do

Civil disputes

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) detects, investigates and prosecutes allegations of criminal fraud. But we cannot provide legal advice to the public nor be involved in any way with civil matters (i.e. litigation between private individuals or companies). If you have a civil matter, consult a lawyer or try the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Investment advice

The SFO is unable to provide advice or information on the safety of investments. Furthermore, we cannot comment on the integrity or competence of individuals or companies promoting investments. For financial advice information visit the Institute of Financial Advisers.

Consumer complaints

Complaints regarding the quality of goods or services provided to you do not fall within our scope of responsibility.

If you believe you’ve received inferior products or services, you may have rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993. 

Alternatively, if you think you’ve been misled or disadvantaged by unfair trading practices, you may have rights under the Fair Trading Act. You can learn more about this act from the Commerce Commission, the government organisation that investigates such matters.


Small-scale frauds – such as dating scams, advance fee frauds and foreign lottery winning – typically originate outside international borders. The SFO does not generally pursue these cases unless some element of the operation occurs within New Zealand. But there may be laws in the country of origin that can assist you in pursuing such matters further. See the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network for a list of countries.
Scamwatch is an online reporting tool operated by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs. This isn’t an enforcement agency – it’s a way to alert you to potential scams.

Tax evasion

Matters involving tax are assessed by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD). If you’d like to make an allegation of tax fraud, please phone the IRD on 0800 227 774.

Benefit fraud

Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) will investigate allegations of beneficiaries fraudulently obtaining a benefit. You can report a fraud by calling 0800 556 006 or going to the WINZ website.

Identity fraud and identity theft

If you believe your identity may have been compromised, it should be reported to the Police immediately. Click here for further information.

False passports

The creation and use of false passports is administered by the Department of Internal Affairs. They can be contacted at 0800 225 050.

Illegal immigration

Immigration is administered by Immigration New Zealand, as part of the Department of Labour. If you believe someone has falsified details pertaining to either an application for a visa, or, is currently within the country on a false or invalid visa, you should contact Immigration New Zealand.

Breach of director duties

The Registrar of Companies is responsible for ensuring company directors comply with their statutory obligations, including those under the Companies Act 1993 and the Financial Reporting Act 1993. In certain cases, the Registrar may also prohibit a person from acting as a company director. Complaints concerning company directors should be directed to the National Enforcement Unit of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Complaints about lawyers

If you have a complaint about the conduct or service that a lawyer has provided, the New Zealand Law Society operates a Lawyers Complaints Service.