Australians are losing more money to NBN scams, with reported losses in 2019 already higher than the total of last year’s losses.
Consumers lost an average of more than $110,000 each month between January and May this year, compared with around $38,500 in monthly average losses throughout 2018 – an increase of nearly 300 per cent.
“People aged over 65 are particularly vulnerable, making the most reports and losing more than $330,000 this year. That’s more than 60 per cent of the current losses,” Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Acting Chair Delia Rickard said. “Scammers are increasingly using trusted brands like ‘NBN’ to trick unsuspecting consumers into parting with their money or personal information.”
Common types of NBN scams include:
It is important to remember NBN Co is a wholesale-only company and does not sell services directly to consumers.
“We will never make unsolicited calls or door knock to sell broadband services to the public. 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.”
“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. Do a Google search or check the phone book to get your service provider’s number, don’t use contact details provided by the sales person,” Ms Rickard said.
She also gave a reminder to never give an unsolicited caller remote access to their computer, and never give out personal, credit card or online account details to anyone they don’t know – in person or over the phone – unless they 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,” Ms Rickard said. “If you think a scammer has gained access to your personal information, such as bank account details, contact your financial institution immediately.”