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Scamwatch warns Aussies to remain alert after fake NBN calls

ScamWatch, an organisation managed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued a warning about scammers posing as representatives of the National Broadband Network (nbn™), known to be targeting senior Australians.

These callers are posing as nbn™ agents and through a conversation are extracting personal information such as full name, birthdate, addresses and in some cases, payment details

One incident reported by the Bega District News involves a resident in Wallaga Lake. A caller attempted to extort payment for a non-existent nbn™ internet service by requesting iTunes cards worth $300.

Cliff Tarrant was phoned by a scammer and offered a phone and internet plan costing $49 per month, labelled as a government subsidy for senior citizens.

Fortunately, Mr Tarrant has cancelled the transaction and has reported the incident.

“He told me to buy three $100 [iTunes gift] cards. He told me to tell the shop staff they were for my grandchildren.”

-C Tarrant

To date, there is no government funded subsidy for a discounted nbn™ plan for Australia’s senior citizens.

The ACCC and ScamWatch have stated older Australians are being targeted by scammers posing as representatives from either a telco or the nbn™ as seniors are viewed as less likely to be tech-savvy.

According to ScamWatch, there have been 2649 reported cases of scammers posing as network representatives and losses have amount to $37,347 since May 2017.

As the nbn™ is halfway through its completion and more areas are being connected, scammers have been trying to capitalise on the rollout with a number of tactics, ranging from pre-sales, special offers, reservation fees and too good to be true discounted prices for phone and internet.

New web-based scams have also been circulating, with customers filling in surveys about the nbn or their provider and being asked to pay postage for a reward, only to be charged astronomical subscription fees.

If you have been affected by any of these scams please contact your bank and ScamWatch.

Jasmin Ashton

About Jasmin Ashton

Jasmin Ashton is the Marketing and Digital Communications coordinator at Activ8me. They grew up in regional Australia and still have nightmares about dial-up connection tones.