SCAMWATCH: watch out for scammers impersonating NBN service providers.
SCAMWATCH: watch out for scammers impersonating NBN service providers.

Scammers watch: Fake NBN targeting seniors

SCAMMERS are increasingly using government brands like NBN to trick seniors into falling for scams the ACCC Scamwatch is warning.

Scamwatch reports scammers are pretending to be from NBN to con victims out of their money and personal information

It has already this year received 316 complaints about scammers impersonating NBN with nearly $28,000 reported lost.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said, "Australians over 65 are particularly vulnerable to this scam with fraudsters using phone calls to target their victims.

"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 added.

The three common scams reported to Scamwatch that involve scammers impersonating NBN are:

  • Signing victims up to fake accounts.

Scammers will ring victims to connect them to the NBN network for a low price. They will often demand payment be made through iTunes gift cards.

  • Gaining remote access to computers.

Scammers pretending to be from NBN will call a victim with claims there are problems with their computer.

The scammer uses this ruse to gain remote access to the victim's computer to steal valuable personal information, install malicious software or demand payment to fix 'problems' they have discovered.

  • Phishing.

Scammers impersonating NBN will call victims to steal valuable personal information like their name, address, Medicare number, licence number.

The scammer may tell the victim they're entitled to a new router, for example, and say they need these personal details to confirm the victim's identity.

"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," Ms Rickard said.

"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," she added.

People can protect themselves by following these four tips:

  1. If you're ever in doubt about contact you've had from someone saying they're from NBN trying to sell you an internet or phone service, hang up the phone and call your retail service provider to check if the person calling is a fraud.
  2. You can only connect to the NBN network by purchasing a plan through a phone and internet service provider. Go to NBN's website to check if your home or business address is able to connect to the NBN network and see which phone and internet providers are available in your area.
  3. Never give your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source.
  4. Never give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer.

If you think you have provided bank account or credit card details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

For more details, go to www.scamwatch.gov.au


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