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Media releases from the Office of Susan Templeman MP.

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NBN DELAYS LEAVE RESIDENTS MORE VULNERABLE TO SCAMMERS

July 09, 2019

NBN DELAYS LEAVE RESIDENTS MORE VULNERABLE TO SCAMMERS

Delays of more than a year in the rollout of the NBN in the mid to lower Mountains are leaving residents vulnerable to scams.

Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman said residents were being bombarded with scam phone calls threatening them with instant service disconnections if they didn’t switch to NBN immediately.

“We have a situation in the mid to lower mountains where people were told they’d be ready to connect to the NBN before the end of last year, so when they get a phone call telling them they’re about to be disconnected unless they sign up to an NBN plan immediately, it’s all the more believable.

 “My office receives calls almost daily from people worried about calls they’ve received threatening them with instant disconnection.

“We’ve seen the number of people falling victim to NBN scams in Australia triple over the past year, and people over 65 are the most at risk.

“These telephone scams aren’t just a nuisance, they are harmful and are on the rise.

“We know scammers are becoming more sophisticated and are even able to mimic legitimate phone numbers so people think they’re receiving a call from a trusted source.

“It is an unacceptable situation when criminals based overseas can effortlessly use Australian telephone numbers they don’t own to generate calls and rip people off.

 
Ms Templeman said Labor was calling for solutions to the growing problem.

“It’s not enough to simply try and boost awareness about the issue; we need to look at measures to protect people.

“Encouragingly, experiences overseas including in the USA, UK and New Zealand show that progress is possible.
 

Ms Templeman said ACCC figures showed Australians were losing more money to NBN scams, with reported losses in 2019 already higher than the total of last year’s losses.

 “The ACCC warns that people aged over 65 are particularly vulnerable, making up more than 60 percent of current losses.

  • Someone pretending to be from NBN Co or an internet provider calls a victim and claims there is a problem with their phone or internet connection, which requires remote access to fix. The scammer can then install malware or steal valuable personal information, including banking details.
  • Scammers pretending to be the NBN attempting to sell NBN services, often at a discount, or equipment to you over the phone.
  • Scammers may also call or visit people at their homes to sign them up to the NBN, get them a better deal or test the speed of their connection. They may ask people to provide personal details such as their name, address, date of birth, and Medicare number or ask for payment through gift cards.
  • Scammers calling you during a blackout offering you the ability to stay connected during a blackout for an extra fee.

It is important to remember NBN Co is a wholesale-only company and does not sell services directly to consumers.

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

“We will never request remote access to a resident’s computer and we will never make unsolicited requests for payment or financial information.”

“If someone claiming to work ‘for the NBN’ tries to sell you an internet or phone service and you are unsure, ask for their details, hang up, and call your service provider to check if they’re legitimate. Do a Google search or check the phone book to get your service provider’s number, don’t use contact details provided by the sales person,” Ms Rickard said.

“Never give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer, and never give out your personal, credit card or online account details to anyone you don’t know – in person or over the phone – unless you made the contact.”

“It’s also important to know that NBN does not make automated calls to tell you that you will be disconnected. If you get a call like this just hang up.”

“If you think a scammer has gained access to your personal information, such as bank account details, contact your financial institution immediately.”

More information about NBN scams is available online at: nbnco.com.au/scamadvice

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