Unsuspecting Aussies have lost almost $28,000 in the last year to scammers pretending to be from NBN, with over 300 reports made to Scamwatch. Here's how they are catching people out, and what you need to do if you think you've been scammed.
"Scammers are increasingly using trusted government brands like NBN to trick people into falling for scams. Their goal is always to either get hold of your money or personal information," ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
The three common scams reported to Scamwatch that involve scammers impersonating NBN are:
- Signing victims up to fake accounts Scammers will ring victims to "connect" them to the NBN network for a low price. They will often demand payment be made through iTunes gift cards.
- Gaining remote access to computers Scammers pretending to be from NBN will call a victim with claims there are problems with their computer. The scammer uses this ruse to gain remote access to the victim's computer to steal valuable personal information, install malicious software or demand payment to fix "problems" they have discovered.
- Phishing Scammers impersonating NBN will call victims to steal valuable personal information like their name, address, Medicare number, licence number. The scammer may tell the victim they're entitled to a new router, for example, and say they need these personal details to confirm the victim's identity.
Rickard said Australians over 65 are particularly vulnerable to this scam, and points out NBN will never phone you out of the blue to try to sign you up to a service over its network.
NBN is a wholesaler - they don't sell direct to the public. If you get an unsolicited call like this, it's a big red flag that you're dealing with a scammer.
NBN will also never call you to remotely "fix" a problem with your computer, or to request personal information like your Medicare number or your bank account numbers.
Also - this is a big one - if someone ever asks you to pay for a service using iTunes gift cards, it is 100 per cent a scam. No legitimate businesses will never ask you to pay for anything with iTunes gift cards. Tell your Nan.
If you think you might be on a call with a scammer, hang up the phone and call your retail service provider to check if the person calling is a fraud.
Remember - you can only connect to the NBN network by purchasing a plan through a phone and internet service provider. Go to NBN's website (link is external) to check if your home or business address is able to connect to the NBN network and see which phone and internet providers are available in your area.
Never give your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source. Never give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer.
And finally, if you think you have provided bank account or credit card details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.