Australians continued losing money to NBN scams this year, with reported losses already eclipsing the total of 2018’s losses.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said consumers lost an average of more than $110,000 each month to NBN scams between January and May this year, up almost 300 percent from last year’s $38,500 in monthly average losses.
ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said Australians over 65 are particularly vulnerable, making the most reports and losing more than $330,000 this year, or 60 percent of current losses.
“Scammers are increasingly using trusted brands like ‘NBN’ to trick unsuspecting consumers into parting with their money or personal information,” Rickard said.
The ACCC said some of the scams include people pretending to be NBN employees, either attempting to sell bogus NBN services over the phone or in person, or to steal personal information and banking details in various ways.
“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.”
Rickard said consumers should confirm with their service provider whenever they receive a call from someone claiming to be from the NBN, and to never give an unsolicited caller remote access to their computers, and never give out personal, credit card or online account details.
“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,” Rickard added.
“If you think a scammer has gained access to your personal information, such as bank account details, contact your financial institution immediately.”