Almost $110,000 lost to NBN scams each month


Wednesday, 19 June, 2019


Almost $110,000 lost to NBN scams each month

Scammers pretending to be NBN Co are increasingly tricking consumers into parting with their money or personal information, the Australian Competitor and Consumer Commission (ACCC) warns.

So far, consumers have lost an average of over $110,000 each month from January to May this year — almost a 300% increase from the $38,500 monthly average losses from 2018.

“People aged over 65 are particularly vulnerable, making the most reports and losing more than $330,000 this year. That’s more than 60% of the current losses,” said ACCC Acting Chair Delia Rickard.

According to the ACCC, common types of NBN scams include:

  • Someone pretending to be from NBN Co or an internet provider calls a victim and claims there is a problem with their phone or internet connection, which requires remote access to fix. The scammer can then install malware or steal valuable personal information, including banking details.
  • Scammers pretending to be the NBN attempting to sell NBN services, often at a discount, or equipment to people over the phone.
  • Scammers may also call or visit people at their homes to sign them up to the NBN, get them a better deal or test the speed of their connection. They may ask people to provide personal details such as their name, address, date of birth and Medicare number or ask for payment through gift cards.
  • Scammers calling people during a blackout offering the ability to stay connected during a blackout for an extra fee.
     

Importantly, however, NBN Co is a wholesaler and will never sell directly to consumers.

“We will never make unsolicited calls or doorknock to sell broadband services to the public. People need to contact their preferred phone and internet service provider to make the switch,” said NBN Co Chief Security Officer Darren Kane.

“We will never request remote access to a resident’s computer and we will never make unsolicited requests for payment or financial information.”

Rickard issued some final warnings to consumers.

“If someone claiming to work ‘for the NBN’ tries to sell you an internet or phone service and you are unsure, ask for their details, hang up and call your service provider to check if they’re legitimate. Do a Google search or check the phone book to get your service provider’s number, don’t use contact details provided by the salesperson,” Rickard said.

“Never give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer, and never give out your personal, credit card or online account details to anyone you don’t know — in person or over the phone — unless you made the contact.

“It’s also important to know that NBN does not make automated calls to tell you that you will be disconnected. If you get a call like this just hang up.

“If you think a scammer has gained access to your personal information, such as bank account details, contact your financial institution immediately.”

More information about NBN scams is available online at: nbnco.com.au/scamadvice.

People can also report a scam to the ACCC via Scamwatch.

Image credit: © stock.adobe.com/au/gguy

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