Phone and internet scams are nothing new. While most people are savvy enough to identify an unsolicited scam call, the ACCC-run Scam Watch website reports that many people have fallen victim to this particular scam, which has been targeting people across the country.
The scam goes like this: Someone cold calls you and claims to be from the NBN Company, and insists that your laptop or device has been hacked and that they need to install software on your computer to ensure you aren’t fleeced for thousands of dollars. They then instruct you to check all your internet banking to ensure no money has been taken from your account.
Sadly, as soon as the unknowing victim checks their banking, the software installed by the scammer copies all that private information and gets access to your banking. The ACCC reports that this scam has cost Australians $110,000 nationally each month this year, and has been reported in different states across the country.
The ACCC recommends people be aware of the following scams:
- Someone pretending to be from NBN Co or an internet provider calls a victim and claims there is a problem with their phone or internet connection, which requires remote access to fix. The scammer can then install malware or steal valuable personal information, including banking details.
- Scammers pretending to be the NBN attempting to sell NBN services, often at a discount, or equipment to you over the phone.
- Scammers may also call or visit people at their homes to sign them up to the NBN, get them a better deal or test the speed of their connection. They may ask people to provide personal details such as their name, address, date of birth, and Medicare number or ask for payment through gift cards.
- Scammers calling you during a blackout offering you the ability to stay connected during a blackout for an extra fee.
However, Australians are urged to remember that NBN Co is a wholesale company that does not sell direct to the public, so you shouldn’t be receiving calls from them.
“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.
Remember, never provide private personal details to stranger over the phone on via the internet, and never allow an unknown person remote access to your computer or digital devices. If you think you’ve been hit by this scam, contact your financial institution immediately to report it.
Victims of the scam should also report the incident to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network.
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