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NBN-Themed Scam Calls Rife, Warns NBN Co

NBN Co is warning about scam calls purporting to be from the company, with more than $320,000 lost from January to June this year.

The wholesaler seeks to educate Australians about NBN-themed scams, which are among the most common reported to Scamwatch. Over 2300 of these were reported in the first six months of 2020, including the prolific “Nicole from NBN” robocall threatening to cut off service, which has been joined by a second automated “Carol” voice; fraudulent invoices being sent to residents after upgrades were offered over the phone; and ploys to allow scammers unmonitored remote access to computers by urging customers to leave or cover their screens to avoid “harmful radiation”.

Scammers are increasingly using trusted brands like NBN to trick unsuspecting consumers into parting with their money or personal information,” said Delia Rickard, deputy chair of the ACCC. “Australians lost more than $900,000 from NBN impersonation scams in 2019 with the highest number of reports and losses coming from people aged 65 years and older.”

As part of Scam Awareness Week, NBN Co Chief Security Officer Darren Kane says the company is aiming to arm consumers with the knowledge they need to avoid falling prey to scammers, and adds that NBN Co never sends invoices directly to consumers unless work was agreed to by NBN and the customer.

“Scammers thrive on uncertainty and misinformation when it comes to the use of the NBN brand to access people’s computers to steal information or push for unnecessary payments. This is why it is critical that we continue to educate the community about how they can protect themselves and others from being scammed.

“NBN Co is a wholesaler and does not make unsolicited calls to sell products, request remote access to computers through programs like Team Viewer, ask you to purchase gift cards in lieu of cash payments, threaten to disconnect your services, or request personal or financial details,” he said.

NBN Co’s top tips for protecting against scammers:

  • Visit NBN Co’s website at www.nbn.com.au/scamadvice for information on how to identify and avoid potential scammers or for advice if you suspect you have been scammed.
  • Remember NBN Co will never call and ask to access your computer or advise that you’re going to be disconnected. NBN Co is a wholesaler, which means it does not sell phone or internet services directly to the public. People need to contact their preferred phone and internet provider in order to make the switch.
  • Never give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer or devices via the installation of programs, such as Team Viewer.
  • NBN Co does not make automated calls, such as robocalls, to advise of disconnections to nbn or existing copper phone line services. Do not engage with these calls.
  • Do not share your financial information (i.e. bank, credit card or gift card details) or personal details with an unsolicited caller or door knockers trying to seek payment for a service over the nbn™ network.
  • If in doubt, hang up and call your retail service provider on their official customer service centre number to check if the call is legitimate. Do not use contact details supplied by the caller.
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