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ACCC Issues Warning On NBN Scammers

The ACCC has warned the public to be aware of scammers that steal money and personal information by posing as NBN representatives.

Almost $28,000 has been lost through these NBN scams in 2017 according to the ACCC’s Scamwatch, which has received 316 complaints since the start of the year.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said scammers have started using government brands like NBN more frequently in their efforts to steal money and information, with Australians aged over 65 being “particularly vulnerable” to scam phone calls.

“NBN will never phone you out of the blue to try to sign you up to a service over its network,” Rickard said.

“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.”

Being signed up for a fake NBN connection over the phone is among the most common scams reported to Scamwatch that involve fake NBN representatives, along with requesting remote access to a computer to steal information, install malicious software or demand money to fix problems, as well as phishing scams to steal an individual’s name, address, Medicare number, licence number and other valuable information.

A telltale sign of a scammer is if payment is requested through iTunes gift cards.

“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,” Rickard said.

The ACCC suggests people should hang up if they are ever in doubt about a phone call claiming to be from NBN, and contact their retail service provider to confirm whether or not the call was a scam.

Valuable information should not be given out over the phone unless the person initiated a call to a trusted phone number, and unsolicited callers should never be given remote access to a computer.

More information and up-to-date warnings can be found on the Scamwatch website.