NBN Scams and How to Avoid Them


In 2021, these dangerously believable scams cost Australians $1.4 million. Find out what they are and how to avoid them.

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Across Australia last year, Scamwatch recorded 6,458 reports of NBN Co impersonation scams, resulting in losses of over $1.4 million.

According to Delia Rickard, Acting Chairperson of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), “scammers are increasingly using trusted brands like ‘NBN’ to trick unsuspecting consumers into parting with their money. or their personal information”.

So how do you know if you’ve been the victim of an NBN scam and what can you do to avoid them?

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Can your NBN be hacked?

The most common way to get hacked with NBN is through a remote access scam, where a scammer calls and asks you to download software like AnyDesk or TeamViewer.

Often it’s under false pretenses such as fixing or upgrading your NBN, or even to protect yourself from scammers (ironic, huh?)

Once you download the software, the scammer can access any accounts you log into, such as your email or even internet banking.

“Remote access scams are one of the most common types of scams in Australia. Scammers take advantage of the digital world and the fear of fraud and cybercrime to gain access to people’s devices and steal their money said Ms. Rickard.

“These types of scams target and affect everyone and can be compelling.

“People aged 55 and over lost more than $4.4 million, which is almost half of the total losses.

“Young people said they lost an average of $20,000 and eight Indigenous Australians, some in remote communities, lost a total of $38,000.”

How to identify a scammer?

There are common things scammers do or say that NBN says its legitimate employees would never do:

They tell you there is a problem and offer to fix it

The caller can let you know that your NBN connection has been “hacked”, that there is a security breach, or that it is going to be disconnected.

They may offer technical support, a discount, or ask you to take an internet speed test through websites such as “speedtest.net”.

They may also ask you to download dial-up software which, as explained above, may allow the caller to hack into your computer and personal information.

They ask for personal information

They might ask you for a photo of your driver’s license or answers to common security questions.

They offer to reconnect your NBN in case of power failure

On its live blog during the March floods, NBN alerted those affected by the power outages that “some residents have received phone calls from scammers posing as NBN asking for funds to expedite the restoration of their service. . Please note that NBN will never contact customers to request payment or any other financial information.

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The call is automated

If there is a robotic voice on the phone, hang up immediately.

They’re trying to sell you something

They may offer to install a 5G connection or change the type of technology, and request payment (sometimes via vouchers or gift cards).

NBN Chief Security Officer Darren Kane said: “We will never make unsolicited calls or knock on doors to sell broadband services to the public. People should contact their preferred phone and internet service provider to make the switch.”

What to do if you have been scammed?

If you have given your bank details to someone:

Call your bank immediately and report the incident to the police or Scamwatch.

If you have given someone access to your computer or device:

Obtain as much information as possible from the scammer, such as their phone number, name, or any remote access credentials, then contact IDCARE or TeamViewer.

If you downloaded apps on the advice of the scammer, remove them immediately and remember to always report scams to the ACCC via Scamwatch to protect others from being scammed.

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How to stop a scammer?

Refuse to give any caller remote access to your computer and cell phone, never share your financial information, never buy NBN equipment from unofficial vendors, and hang up the phone if an automated voice gives notice NBN disconnection.

To confirm if a caller is a scammer, ask for their contact information, then hang up and call your phone and ISP to verify if they are legit.

If the caller offers you another phone number to call to verify legitimacy, decline the offer and call your provider’s official number.

To see if an in-person technician is a scammer, check their NBN enAble ID card before letting them into your home.

Ms Rickard says that “if you receive a contact from someone claiming to be from a telecommunications company, tech support service provider or online marketplace, hang up.”

RELATED: Why You Should Know About Planned NBN Outages


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