The Ministry of Consumer Affairs says scammers are using the Christchurch earthquake to take advantage of the good will of New Zealanders.
It says emails are being sent out from "James McCoy", claiming to be from "Donate4CharityNZ", using a legitimate UK-based charity's organisation name and website address.
The email encourages people to receive donated funds into their bank account from overseas for a 10 percent cut.
The Ministry says this is a scam, and anyone who receives such an email should not reply to it, and report it to Scamwatch and delete it.
The emails come from a generic email address, such as gmail.com or hotmail.com and contain poor grammar and spelling.
The Ministry warns people to research charities they are contacted by if they have never heard of them before, and to be careful about "soundalikes" - organisations that sound like legitimate charities, such as "Oxfan".
It says New Zealand charities can be checked on the Charities Commission's register.