Scammers have been posing as NBN employees

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Scammers are posing as National Broadband Network (NBN) employees in an attempt to steal personal and financial information from unsuspecting Australians.

A media statement by NBN Co this week has signalled an 84 per cent increase in inquiries about suspected scams since last October. While there are several approaches being used by scammers, the most common involves the scammer claiming that you face immediate disconnection from the NBN unless you update your financial information.

“It’s important to remember the key point of contact for Australians connecting to the NBN access network will always be their preferred phone and internet service provider,” said NBN Co chief security officer Darren Kane. This is because NBN Co is a wholesale-only company and does not sell services directly to the public.

“We urge residents and businesses to be vigilant (about) callers claiming to be from NBN Co requesting personal or financial information.

“We will never make unsolicited calls or door knock to sell broadband services to the public.

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

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) warned yesterday that gift cards were increasingly the payment of choice for scammers, with Scamwatch reports showing more than $5 million was lost in 2018 – a 38 per cent increase compared with 2017.

iTunes cards accounted for $3.1 million in losses – a 156 per cent increase from the $1.23 million reported in 2017. However, Scamwatch has also seen an increase in reports involving other gift cards such as Google Play, Amazon, Steam cards and Australia Post Load & Go prepaid debit cards.

Losses to scams where non-iTunes gift cards were used as payment increased by 530 per cent in 2018 to around $1 million.

“Scammers like to get gift cards as payment as it’s easy for them to quickly sell them on secondary markets and pocket the cash,” said ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard.

The ACCC says there are several common types of scams involving gift cards. These are:

ATO impersonation scams
The scammer pretends to be from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and claims there is a warrant for their victim’s arrest. The scammer asks the victim to pay an immediate ‘fine’ using gift cards or bitcoin, and claims police will come and arrest them if the fine is not paid.

Catch-a-hacker scam
The scammer calls and pretends to be from a law-enforcement agency or internet provider and convinces the victim they are trying to trace the location of a hacker who has compromised the victim’s computer. They claim they can do this by sending money from the victim’s bank account or via gift card serial numbers.

Victims are also tricked into giving up personal details with the promise of gift cards. Scammers entice victims to participate in surveys by promising gift cards as a prize. However, the surveys extract personal information such as your name, date of birth, address details and even financial details like your credit card or bank numbers.

For further information, go to scamwatch.gov.au.

Have you been targeted by the NBN scam? Have you been asked for gift cards by scammers? Have you ever been a victim of a scammer?

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Written by Drew

Starting out as a week of work experience in 2005 while studying his Bachelor of Business at Swinburne University, Drew has never left his post and has been with the company ever since, working on the websites digital needs. Drew has a passion for all things technology which is only rivalled for his love of all things sport (watching, not playing).
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28 Comments

Total Comments: 28
  1. 0
    0

    Living south of Brisbane, have been on NBN for 10 months. Had at least 5 NBN scammers phoning me already on the landline. The ATO scam sounds really scary, first time I worried that my accountant might have made a mistake (I have never filled in my forms myself) but then they threatened me with immediate arrest and I smelt a rat! ATO does not work that way. Just google ‘current scams’ to set your mind at ease. Never pay them a cent.

    • 0
      0

      I asked the scammer what my tax file number was. A real ATO employee would know this. Didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. Sure sign it was a scam!

    • 0
      0

      We get these calls all the time. I started by asking them what their mother would think of them but now just hang up without as much as a word.
      I’d like to know why there are no laws requiring telcos to shut these crooks down? Its not as though they are not known to telcos.

  2. 0
    0

    No, but a friend has. It just happened to coincide with him having NBN issues so he thought that someone at last was about to help. Well they were – to his wallet!

  3. 0
    0

    Same old scam. Just new hat!

  4. 0
    0

    I get a phone call with a recorded message telling me. “your internet is going to be be disconnected, press (number) to speak to etc etc.” I have had as many as 4 of these calls on one day. Of course the internet isn’t disconnected as it’s a scam. I always leave the message to go to voice mail and what’s really odd is that it does! As if I could press any button anyway from a voice mail message. Duh!!

  5. 0
    0

    It’s actually a form of stalking and I don’t know why the Federal Police haven’t shut it down.

    I fixed it by pulling the landline out of the wall. Problem sorted.

    I was getting around 4 calls a day from various scammers and grifters.

    Really annoying.

  6. 0
    0

    Indian accents no doubt. If you hear such an accent, just hang up.

  7. 0
    0

    This warning from NBN is a bit outdated – the scammers are actually smarter, and nowadays they claim to be from Telstra, etc, and specifically tell you that NBN can’t contact you (if you ask)!
    There should be NO reason why the Telcos can’t stop these calls – even their numbers are not blocked! Shows how hopeless is our telecommunications governance.
    Shame on Scamwatch in particular – a useless, toothless pussy!

  8. 0
    0

    I have had multiple recorded messages from ‘Nicole’ from NBN Co warning me my broadband will be disconnected within 24 hours unless I immediately transfer to the NBN and instructs me to press ‘2’. Since we are not due to have NBN available at my house before July 19 I immediately know it is a scam and hang up. If my wife answers a call from ‘Nicole” she responds in a most unladylike manner. I have reported it to Do Not Call but nothing seems to happen. The most annoying part is the calls appear to come from different numbers on different days so you cannot use Caller ID to see if it is Nicole calling.

  9. 0
    0

    I suggest that you consider getting one of these. You don’t have to be a Telstra customer to buy a set. A twin phone set costs $72
    https://crowdsupport.telstra.com.au/t5/Announcements/Telstra-Call-Guardian-301-Never-answer-a-nuisance-call-again/ba-p/465103
    I’ve found these to be 100% successful in blocking nuisance calls.
    There are video reviews on YouTube but I’ve found that the one for the UK BT product is the best as it shows the system working in real time. Here’s a link
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flyOHEEesz4

  10. 0
    0

    We moved into a new build home and set-up NBN a few months later and received a new phone number – that was two years ago and we NEVER get dodgy phone calls, we haven’t actually had ANY phone calls at all, we just use our mobiles.

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