While Baby Boomers are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to protecting themselves against scams and hoax messages, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has warned there’s another worrying scam doing the rounds.
There’s been an increase of email and social media scams in recent times, although the ACMA is warning that scammers are targeting NBN users through a new phone scam.
In a post shared on its Facebook page, the watchdog said a robocall is the latest scam catching innocent people out. Australians across the country are receiving automated calls claiming to be from the NBN, telling them that their internet will be disconnected. In actual fact, it’s an elaborate scam intended to steal personal information and money.
After people are invited to press a number on their phone, victims are their prompted to hand over their personal information and payment in order for their internet not to be disconnected.
“NBN Co will never make these unsolicited calls to request payment or bank account details,” the ACMA said. “If you get a call that you suspect is a scam, hang up.”
Earlier this week, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) reminded Australians that November is one of the prime times of the year for scammers and warned Aussies to be on alert.
In particular, people across the country and being urged not to fall for tax-related scams ahead of November 21, when an estimated one million Australian taxpayers will be forced to make payment to the tax authority or face interest charges on their debt.
In another frightening scam, the ATO warned that even for people who don’t owe money, sophisticated fear-mongering campaigns are doing the rounds and that every year, people are handing over their cash.
Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson said scammers are experts at exploiting vulnerable people and often impersonate tax agents and use aggressive tactics to swindle people out of their money or personal information.
“Our advice is simple – the ATO will never ask you to make a payment into an ATM or via gift or pre-paid cards such as iTunes and Visa cards, or direct credit to be paid to a personal bank account,” she said.
“If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of a call, hang up and call us on 1800 888 540.”
Meanwhile, Australians can join the free Do Not Call Register to avoid telemarketer calls. Originally established in 2006 by the Australian Government, the register is a secure database where individuals or businesses can register their Australian telephone, mobile or fax details so they receive less unsolicited telemarketing calls and faxes.
Once added, a number stays on the register until removed and telemarketers and fax marketers are required by law to stop contacting these numbers. It can take 30 days for calls to stop coming through, while the ACMA warns registered political parties, educational institutions and charities will still be able to make calls.
Sadly, this doesn’t stop scam calls, so it’s always advised not to give out personal details over the phone to organisations you’re not familiar with.
The easiest way to register or check if you’ve registered is to visit donotcall.gov.au or 1300 792 958.