The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch service has so far this year received more than 300 complaints about National Broadband Network-related scams.
The ACCC this morning issued a warning for consumers about NBN scams, which it says have cost at least $28,000 in 2017.
“Scammers are increasingly using trusted government brands like NBN to trick people into falling for scams,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said in a statement.
“Their goal is always to either get hold of your money or personal information.”
Elderly Australians have proven particularly vulnerable, Rickard said.
“NBN will never phone you out of the blue to try to sign you up to a service over its network,” she 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,”
“NBN will also never call you to remotely ‘fix’ a problem with your computer, or to request personal information like your Medicare number or your bank account numbers. Don’t listen to the reasons they give you for needing this information.”
“Finally, if someone ever asks you to pay for a service using iTunes gift cards, it is 100 per cent a scam,” Rickard added. “Legitimate businesses, especially those like NBN, will never ask you to pay for anything in this way.”
NBN-related scams have generally involved signing victims up to fake services, often demanding payment in iTunes gift cards; social engineering remote access to a victim’s computer in order to install malware, obtain sensitive data or demand money to fix fake ‘problems’ with a PC; and obtaining personal information, such as a Medicare number or driver’s licence details, by impersonating NBN employees over the phone.
The ACCC yesterday detailed its latest efforts to clear up consumer confusion about NBN services.
The consumer watchdog issued detailed guidance for retail service providers (RSPs) that sell services over the National Broadband Network.
A key feature of the new guidelines is that retailers should ensure they are advertising the typical speeds a consumer is likely to encounter during peak usage periods, such as the evening.