Mark Marshall, I.T Director at Ara Institute of Canterbury, said a scammer was targeting staff but not students with an email in which they claimed to have hacked the webcams of individuals and recorded footage of them watching explicit content.
In the email, staff were told to send $1000 to the scammer unless they wanted the footage to be shared.
An alert was sent to all staff urging them not to open the email and attached files. Anyone receiving an email containing passwords in the subject line were advised to change account passwords.
Marshall said no students had received emails related to the issue. A previous version of this story incorrectly stated students had been targeted.
Further information on how to avoid such scams can be found on Netsafe New Zealand's website.