NBN scam targeting older Australians

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is warning Australians that scammers pretending to be from the NBN are duping older people out of thousands.

So far this year, Scamwatch has reported that around $28,000 has been lost to the NBN scam, with Australians over 65 years of age the main targets.

“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,” said ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard.

The three most commonly reported NBN scams include:

  • scammers signing victims up to fake accounts, demanding payments with iTunes gift cards
  • NBN impersonators calling and telling victims there is a problem with their computer, gaining remote access to install malicious software and demanding payment to fix the problems
  • calling and extracting personal information from victims (phishing), such as names, addresses, Medicare numbers and driver licence numbers.

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

“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.

“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.

If you are ever suspicious of anyone calling and claiming to be from the NBN, simply hang up and call your regular internet provider to check if the call is fraudulent.

You can also go to the NBN website to check if your house can connect. If it can’t, then any calls made will be fake.

Scamwatch also advises that you never give out any personal information during unsolicited calls and never give anyone remote access to your computer unless it is to a trusted source.

If you think you’ve given your bank details to a scammer, call your bank immediately.

For more information and safety tips, head to Scamwatch

Related articles:
Scam puts smartphone users at risk
New scam aimed at pensioners
Inside a scammer’s bag of tricks

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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