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Wednesday, 19 August 2020 13:07

NBN CO launches community education campaign on scam threats Featured


National Broadband Network operator NBN Co has launched a community education campaign focusing on the threat of scams and warning that scammers are increasing their focus to “deceive Australians”, with new and variations of common NBN themed scams emerging in recent months.

As part of National Scams Awareness Week, NBN Co will host information sessions across the country and will leverage the latest insights and intelligence from Scamwatch in order to raise awareness about the most common and emerging scam trends and share tips about how to stay safe.

The campaign by NBN Co follows the Australian Competition and Consumer Commissson (ACCC) Scamwatch ‘Targeting Scams’ report which noted that NBN themed scams were the most commonly reported scam type via the Australian Communications and Media Authority, with the ‘Nicole from nbn' robocall scam the most prolific example.

NBN Co says that recent reports to NBN and to Scamwatch indicate ‘Nicole’ has been joined by ‘Carol’ in addition to the emergence of two new NBN themed scams including:

  • residents being sent a fraudulent NBN invoice for payment after they were offered a NBN upgrade over the phone; and
  • scammers claiming radiation or harmful UV rays will come from the computer and instructs the individual to move away from or cover the screen, allowing the scammer unmonitored remote access to the device.

NBN Co says it is important to note that the company does not issue invoices direct to customers unless work has been agreed to by NBN and the customer.

NBN Co’s Chief Security Officer, Darren Kane, said that ongoing education and awareness was one of the best ways to combat scammers and help Australians protect themselves against scams and identity theft.

“Scammers thrive on uncertainty and misinformation when it comes to the use of the NBN brand to access people’s computers to steal information or push for unnecessary payments. This is why it is critical that we continue to educate the community about how they can protect themselves and others from being scammed.

“NBN Co is a wholesaler and does not make unsolicited calls to sell products, request remote access to computers through programs like Team Viewer, ask you to purchase gift cards in lieu of cash payments, threaten to disconnect your services, or request personal or financial details.

“This week, our teams will be concentrating on arming residents, and particularly those who help the vulnerable in our community, with the information on what to look out for and what to do if they suspect they have been contacted by a scammer.

“The team at NBN Co is committed to empowering the community with knowledge, education, and information to help protect our loved ones from these insidious scams.”

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said: “Scammers are increasingly using trusted brands like NBN to trick unsuspecting consumers into parting with their money or personal information. Australians lost more than $900,000 from NBN impersonation scams in 2019 with the highest number of reports and losses coming from people aged 65 years and older.”

Details on the NBN Scam Awareness sessions can be found on the nbn Facebook page.  

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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