Older Australians targeted by NBN impersonator scam

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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

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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13 Comments

Total Comments: 13
  1. 0
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    I respond to these calls by going along and spending as much time as possible keeping them occupied with dumb questions. Most of the time they are foreign based and with hardly understandable English.Sometimes it can take a while till they give up in disgust hopefully never to call back.

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      i get at least 1 indian a week or more trying to flog me solar it doesnt matter how much i tell them i dont want it or in the end telling them off they still phone..any other ideas? Ive been told to blow a whiste into the phone but i dont want to deafen any of my friends

    • 0
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      …. when I get calls re solar panels….. I just say “Too late – I already have them” Byeeeeeee ……and hang up!!……… 🙂

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      Tell your renting works every time.

  2. 0
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    Yesterday I had a call from a woman who claimed she was from Telstra. She asked if I was aware that my internet connection was about to be suspended for 3 months. My response was : ” that’s rubbish!” and she hung up. Anyone else had a call like this?

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      I got a genuine call from Telstra and they had a terrible time trying to convince me they were genuine. I ask them questions that they should know the answer to.

  3. 0
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    Scammers also call advising they are from Microsoft technical services or Windows technical services stating that your computer has been infected. They will demand that you turn on your computer and allow them remote access. Tell the caller to hold the line while you use another phone to call the Australian Federal Police to have the call traced. They will hang up within a nanosecond!!

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      I just say it’s about time my new curtains were ready. Then they start to talk about computers so I ask them what a computer is? They tell their mates in the background that they have a person who doesn’t even know what a computer is and they all have a good laugh. Then they realise I have heard it all and hang up.

  4. 0
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    All I do is say can you hold on for a moment while I access my computer, then turn on a radio and put the phone next to it and leave it there for half an hour. They never seem to wait for me to come back.

  5. 0
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    No matter what the scam…just say you don’t have a computer or NBN or whatever they are Flogging
    that it’s not even ur place…lol.
    They just hang up…lol

  6. 0
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    I’ve played all sorts of games, now that was wasting my time.
    The good old Liar, liar pants on fire, so xxxx off.
    Makes me happy.

  7. 0
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    Ha Ha if its a female scammer l thank them for a awesome weekend…and ask if they want to
    redo it all…with the male scammers l ask how the wife or girl friend is…. suggesting we misbehaved…99% of time they hung up…or when l answer..they start by telling me about my computer …l ask wat computer..dont have one…line always goes dead.

  8. 0
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    Am I ever getting sick of “Nicole” from the NBN network who rings almost every day (despite my being on the do-not-call register, which has always seemed totally ineffective as a deterrent). I was hoping that she might have caught COVID-19 (perhaps induced by the radiation from the 5G network that is causing everything from mind control, to skin cancer, to sponges that sink in the middle, just like your microwave, our computer screens and TV screens, and vaccinations).


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