The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is again warning Australians to be cautious of contacts from parties claiming to be associated with the NBN.
According to the ACCC, Australians lost an average of more than $110,000 each month in total between January and May 2019 to NBN-related scams – an increase of close to 300 per cent compared to monthly average losses in 2018.
More than 60% of the losses this year have involved Australians aged over 65 says the ACCC.
Some of the more common scams include
- A party claiming to be associated with NBN Co or an ISP* calling targets and claiming there’s a problem with their phone or internet connection, and then requesting remote access – providing the scammer the opportunity to install malware or pull personal information from the victim’s computer.
- Scammers attempting to sell NBN services or related equipment via phone.
- In person visits from scammers offering to sign people up to the NBN, test their internet connection speed or get them a better deal on internet access; then asking for personal details.
- Here’s an odd one – scammers calling those affected by a blackout an option of staying connected during the event – for a fee.
Another scam we recently reported on is where robocalls claiming to be from NBN Co. state the victim isn’t registered with the NBN and their current internet service will be turned off within 24 hours.
NBN Co. is a wholesale only company – it doesn’t sell internet access direct to Australian consumers. A (verified) representative of the company says it does not make unsolicited calls, door knock, request remote access to a computer, make robocalls threatening disconnection, or make unsolicited requests for payment or financial information. Approved NBN Co technicians and workers carry enAble identification cards – so always request to see this card before allowing anyone claiming to be from NBN Co into your home (or poking around outside it).
If you’ve been approached, the best thing to do is hang up on such calls or close the door on the person. If you believe you have fallen victim to an NBN scam, you should contact your bank or financial institution immediately and also report the incident to the ACCC via Scamwatch and the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).