NBN Co has sent an urgent warning to the people of Australia after seeing scam reports relating to the internet service skyrocket over the past five months.
The company building and upgrading the country’s telecommunications and broadband network said it has seen an 84 per cent increase in enquiries about suspected scams since October 2018, as scammers try to squeeze money out of Aussies as the NBN rolls out across the country.
In most cases, the scammer impersonates someone from the NBN in a bid to secure the victim’s bank details.
In a statement released on Monday, NBN Co’s Chief Security Officer Darren Kane advised Aussies to exert caution when speaking to people claiming to be from the company. He said it’s especially important to be wary when requests are made regarding personal or financial information.
“We will never make unsolicited calls or door knock to sell broadband services to the public,” Kane explained. “We will never request remote access to a resident’s computer and we will never make unsolicited requests for payments or financial information.”
With nearly three in four homes and businesses now able to connect to the NBN access network, Kane said it’s vital people understand the steps involved in making the switch, including how and when NBN Co and retailers communicate with customers.
“It’s important to remember the key point of contact for Australians connecting to the NBN access network will always be their preferred phone and internet service provider,” he added. “This is because NBN Co is a wholesale-only company and does not sell services directly to the public.
“In fact connecting to the NBN access network is not automatic and people need to contact their preferred phone or internet provider to make the switch.”
To help Aussies avoid falling victim to the cruel scammers, NBN Co provided advice on how customers protect themselves from ending up out of pocket.
The company urged people not to share financial information, such as bank or credit card details, or personal details with an unsolicited caller or door knocker trying to seek payment for an NBN service.
Australians were also advised not to give an unsolicited caller remote access to their computers or devices via the installation of programs.
However, if in doubt, Kane suggested calling a service provider to make sure it is not a scammer on the other end of the phone.
“Hang up and call your retail service provider customer service centre to check if the call is legitimate,” he said.
Those who believe they may have been scammed can also visit www.nbn.com.au/scamadvice for advice.