Beware of NBN scams, says ACCC

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Beware of NBN scams, says ACCC

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has warned of scammers soliciting banking details and sales of telco equipment from people in NBN rollout areas.

The consumer watchdog stated that scammers have made unsolicited telephone calls, emails or physical visits to businesses and homes located in new NBN areas. The caller would then request personal information, like bank account numbers, claiming that it is a requirement of connecting to the NBN.

"NBN Co does not provide retail services to consumers so will not generally ask for banking details," ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard. "If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately."

In some cases, the scam callers have tried to convince potential victims that existing telecommunications equipment is unsuitable for the NBN and a purchase of compatible gear from the scammer is required.

Rickard said that business owners and residents should check with their current provider about required actions if the NBN is coming to their area.

"Never give your account details unless you made the contact. Don't rely on numbers, email addresses or websites provided – find them through an independent source such as a phone book or online search. Do not purchase any new equipment before speaking with your provider," said Rickard.

NBN Co is currently in the midst of deployment in specific areas in almost every state and major city. The organisation is aiming to install high-speed broadband infrastructure in "419 cities, suburbs and towns covering 1.9 million homes and businesses" by June 2016, according to sister publication iTnews.

"Unfortunately, scammers often use major government programs to trick people into handing over their money or personal details," said Rickard. "We’re warning the community to be on guard and check who you are dealing with before providing any personal information or making purchases."

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