Scam­mers pos­ing as NBN reps aim­ing to steal Aussie iden­tites


APC Australia - - Technotes -

Fraud­sters pre­tend­ing to be NBN staff are cold-call­ing homes to sign un­sus­pect­ing con­sumers up for fake broad­band ac­counts for cheap prices, then ask­ing for sen­si­tive per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, like names, dates of birth and Medi­care num­bers, which can be used to ac­cess bank ac­counts and su­per funds. The Aus­tralian con­sumer watch­dog, ACCC, and govern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion Scamwatch have seen a rise in com­plaints from the pub­lic — 316 since Jan­uary this year — with over $28,000 scammed from un­sus­pect­ing peo­ple in the last eight months.

The scam­mers seem to be tar­get­ing re­tirees and over- 65s for the most part, with one of the most com­mon cons be­ing pay­ment for the fake ac­counts to be made in iTunes gift cards. An­other scam in­volves gain­ing ac­cess to “com­put­ers used in a hack­ing in­ci­dent”, with fraud­sters then in­stalling ma­li­cious soft­ware, steal­ing per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, then de­mand­ing pay­ment for the so-called ser­vice. ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard is warn­ing Aus­tralians, es­pe­cially the over- 65s, that NBN Co is a whole­saler and would never con­tact con­sumers di­rectly. “If you get an un­so­licited call like this, it’s a big red flag that you’re deal­ing with a scam­mer,” she said.

Sharmishta Sarkar

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