Nearly $28,000 has been stolen from Australians this year by scammers pretending to be the NBN in order to steal money and personal information.
Scamwatch has already received 316 complaints this year related to scams impersonating the NBN, according to the ACCC.
“Scammers are increasingly using trusted government brands like NBN to trick people into falling for scams," ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said. "Their goal is always to either get hold of your money or personal information.”
One of the most common scams involves scammers ringing victims to connect them to an NBN service and demanding payment with an iTunes gift card.
Rickard said that Australians over 65 are particularly vulnerable to cold calls from scammers, who often demand payment via iTunes gift cards. "Legitimate businesses, especially those like NBN, will never ask you to pay for anything in this way," Rickard said.
Another involves scammers calling victims to say they have a problem with their computer, only to gain remote access to steal personal information and install malicious software. Scammers also use phishing tactics by impersonating the NBN to steal personal information like names, addresses and Medicare information under the guise of offering them a new router.
“NBN will never phone you out of the blue to try to sign you up to a service over its network. 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,” Rickard said.
“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.”
Rickard advised Australians to hang up and contact their retail service provider if they were in doubt about a caller purporting to be from the NBN. She said Australians should never give out personal or credit card details over the phone, unless it is a trusted source, or allow an unsolicited caller remote access to their computer.