NBN Scam Losses Triple In 2019 To More Than $100K A Month
As if the increasing cost of the network itself wasn’t enough, the NBN is now being used by scammers to fleece more than $110,000 a month from unsuspecting Australians.
Those aged over 65 are particularly susceptible, reporting the most losses and making up around 60 per cent of total losses.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said losses roughly tripled their monthly average of around $38,500 last year, jumping to more than $110,000 per month from January to May this year.
Common grifts include scammers impersonating NBN workers calling victims and claiming there’s a problem with their connection that requires remote access to fix in order to trick victims into installing malware that can steal personal information and banking details.
Impersonators may also attempt to sell discounted NBN services and equipment over the phone, or even visit victim’s homes to sign them up for a better deal or test the speed of their connection in order to collect personal details or payments.
ACCC acting chair Delia Rickard said scammers were using trusted and known brands to try and trick unsuspecting customers, and the best course of action was to ignore them.
“If someone claiming to work ‘for the NBN’ tries to sell you an internet or phone service and you are unsure, ask for their details, hang up, and call your service provider to check if they’re legitimate,” Ms Rickard said.
“Never give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer, and never give out your personal, credit card or online account details to anyone you don’t know – in person or over the phone – unless you made the contact.”
“It’s also important to know that NBN does not make automated calls to tell you that you will be disconnected. If you get a call like this just hang up.”
The ACCC said it’s important people remember NBN Co is just a wholesaler, and doesn’t sell to consumers.v
“People need to contact their preferred phone and internet service provider to make the switch,” NBN Co chief security officer Darren Kane said.
“We will never request remote access to a resident’s computer and we will never make unsolicited requests for payment or financial information.”
Scam victims are encouraged to report to the ACCC’s Scamwatch as well as their financial institutions.