ACCC warns Aussies about scammers pretending to be from NBN

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch service has received more than 300 complaints about National Broadband Network-related scams this year.

The ACCC, therefore, has issued a warning for consumers about NBN related scams, which it says have cost around $28,000 this year.

“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 3 common scams reported to Scamwatch that involve scammers impersonating NBN are:

  • Scammers are calling victims and offering to connect them to the network for a low price. They are asking them to pay using iTunes gift cards.
  • Scammers pretending to be from NBN are calling people with claims that there are problems with their computer and then trying to gain remote access to their computer in order to steal critical personal information, install malicious software or demand money in order to fix ‘issues’ that they have discovered.
  • Scammers impersonating NBN are calling people in order to steal valuable personal information such as their name, address, licence number, Medicare number. They are telling the target that they are entitled to a new router and they need these details to confirm the person’s identity.

“Australians over 65 are particularly vulnerable to this scam with fraudsters using phone calls to target their victims,” Ms Rickard said.

“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 meaning 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,” Ms Rickard said.

“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. Don’t listen to the reasons they give you for needing this information.”

“Finally, if someone ever asks you to pay for a service using iTunes gift cards, it is 100 per cent a scam. Legitimate businesses, especially those like NBN, will never ask you to pay for anything in this way,” Ms Rickard said.

ACCC has given some tips to people to help them protect themselves against such scams:

  • If you are ever in doubt about someone saying they are from NBN, hang up the phone as well as call your retail service provider in order to check if the person calling is a fraud.
  • You can only connect to the NBN network by purchasing a plan through a phone & internet service provider.
  • Don’t make the mistake of giving your personal details, credit card details or online account details over the phone unless you made the call as well as the phone number came from a trusted source.
  • Avoid giving an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer.