Beware scammers pretending to be the NBN

  • Scammers are impersonating the NBN on the phone.
  • These calls are unsolicited and illegal.
  • NBN Co and ACCC are asking people to be wary.

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Several different scams have cropped up in Australia, with perpetrators pretending to be calling from the NBN Co. The Scamwatch divison of the ACCC (Australian Competition & Consumer Commision) reported that they have received 316 complaints this year about scammers impersonating the NBN, with up to $28,000 reported lost. 

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said that scammers are increasingly using trusted government brands like NBN to trick people into falling for scams. "Their goal is always to either get hold of your money or personal information" spoke Ms. Rickard. "Australians over 65 are particularly vulnerable to this scam with fraudsters using phone calls to target their victims." 

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Ms Rickard added that there are red flags to look out for, chief amongst them being that the NBN doesn't call people out of the blue. Additionally, some of the scammers have being asking their targets to give them iTunes gift cards. Ms Rickard made it clear that if someone ever asks you to pay for a service using iTunes gift cards, it is 100 per cent a scam. Legitimate businesses, especially those like NBN, will never ask you to pay for anything in this way."

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The NBN Co released their own official statement on the matter, with NBN Co Chief Security Officer Darren Kane saying: 

“It is important to be aware that NBN Co will never make unsolicited calls or door knock to sell broadband services. NBN Co may make calls to individuals registered on our Medical Alarm or Fire and Lift registers but will never request payment or bank account details during these calls.

NBN Co also does not request payment in relation to matters relating to medical alarms.

“NBN Co is the company building and operating Australia’s wholesale broadband network, and as a wholesale-only company we do not sell broadband packages directly to consumers. There are times when NBN Co may contact you directly as part of the network rollout, but never to request payment for services over the nbn™ network.

“Protect your personal information by being on guard, verify who are you are talking to and do not give your personal details or bank account details to an unsolicited caller.”

NBN Co's press released added that there are easy steps people can take to help protect themselves from scammers... 

1. Do not share your bank or personal details with an unsolicited caller or with those who door knock claiming to be from NBN Co and trying to sell you an nbn™ service or seek payment for related services.

2. If you think you have been a victim immediately report the scam to your bank or financial institution, and the police.

3. If you have any questions about how these types of scams relate to you or would like further assistance please contact IDCARE on 1300 432 273.

4. To protect others, report scams to the ACCC via the SCAMwatch report scam page

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