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A list of Australia’s top five phone scams has been released by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) today.

In a bid to raise awareness of the scams during the Christmas period, ACMA revealed that scammers have created clever tactics to rip people off – including impersonating well-known Australian companies, such as NBN.

In fact, it was the NBN impersonations that dominated the most reported scam for 2019, followed by scammers pretending to be IT technicians offering support for your computer, which they claim has a virus.

Together, the top five scams accounted for 87% of scams reported to the media authority body.

ACMA Authority member, Fiona Cameron, has urged people to be cautious against SMS phishing scams targeting Australia Post customers.

‘We have seen a spike in this scam during the lead up to Christmas and we are working with telcos to tackle the problem,’ Cameron said.

The phishing scam comes in the form of a text message identical to one from the Australia Post, claiming an issue with the delivery of a package.

The scam has hit at a vulnerable time in the holiday period, where people are flocking online to order Christmas presents for their loved ones.

‘The SMS includes a link to a fake Australia Post website that will ask for your personal and financial details.

‘If you receive a suspicious SMS messages, delete the message and do not click the link,’ Cameron warned.

Tthe ACMA is ramping up its action to combat phone scams in 2020, with the Combatting Scams Action Plan designed to reduce the scams reaching Australians.

‘The project will put enforceable obligations on telco providers to share data and work together to identify and block scam calls like these ones.

‘There will also be a trial that will identify where high volumes of scam calls are coming from, and have Australian carriers work with their international counterparts to block those calls.

‘We are confident that we can significantly reduce these scams in a bid to protect Australia,’ Cameron said.

Cameron also revealed a number of steps a victim can take if they receive fraudulent calls, texts or scams.

‘If you think a call is suspect, don’t engage, instead hang up, block the number and report the call to Scamwatch.

‘If you are unsure whether a call is a scam or not, hang up and contact the organisation the caller claims to be from to verify the details.’

The top five phone scams reported to ACMA include:

  1. NBN impersonation (4,419 reports)
  2. Computer virus/Tech support (1,761 reports)
  3. DNCR registration (1,245 reports)
  4. Accident claim (435 claims)
  5. So called Chinese scam (417 reports)

For more about scams in Australia, or to report a scam to visit the Scamwatch website.

 

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