- In 2021, Australians have lost at least $7.2m in the scams a 184% increase compared to the previous year.
- The ACCC issues a strong warning to the general public about Telstra and NBN Co scams.
- The public is strongly advised to stay vigilant when answering phone calls from an unknown number where you are asked for your personal information.
Telstra and NBN Co are the biggest names in the telecoms industry, which scammer has taken advantage of. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) quickly issues a strong warning to the general public.
This year alone, Australians have lost at least $7.2m in the scams a 184% increase compared to the previous year. These scammers (who usually disguise as call centre agents from Telstra or NBN) convince people to download remote access software and install it on the victim’s computer. This software provides the scammers access to the victim’s private information such as Name, Address, Telephone, Bank Account, and Social Security Numbers. To bait their victims, the scammers send an SMS message, an email or a pop-up message on their computers.
Delia Rickard, Deputy Chair of the ACCC says, “Remote access scams are one of the largest growing scam types in Australia. Scammers take advantage of the digital world and the fear of fraud and cybercrime to access people’s devices and steal their money.”
She also claimed that “These types of scams target and impact all people and can be convincing. People aged 55 and older lost over $4.4 million, accounting for almost half of total losses. Young people reported losing on average $20,000, and eight Indigenous Australians, some in remote communities, lost a total of $38,000.”
Scamwatch, a service put up by the ACCC, claimed that it had received an estimated 6250 reports of remote access scams with losses that sum up to more than $7.25 million. Reports have it that this year 2021, Telstra is the most copied organisation with 1730 reports and a reported loss of $1.95 million. Next in line is NBN Co, with 1023 reports and reported losses of $477,980.
Scamwatch is a legitimate website run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Its goal is to provide information about the different scams and provide consumers tips on how to recognise these illegal practices. Scamwatch also urges the public to report anything that seems fraudulent.
Scam means to deceive and defraud individuals or businesses to get money in return for their selfish motives. Sometimes, a scam can be hard to detect since the perpetrator uses different tactics to convince their victims and gain their trust.
We strongly advise the public to stay vigilant when answering phone calls from an unknown number where you are asked for your personal information, such as your bank account number. If the ‘agent’ calls you to talk about a transaction you do not know of, we advise that you decline their offer to process a refund right away.