Friday, 13 March 2015 09:44

ACCC: Be on guard for NBN scammers Featured

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) warns NBN scams through emails, calls, or door knocks selling you equipment or seeking financial details are coming.

What out! Scammers taking advantage of the NBN rollout are set to make a motza from Australians if they aren’t on their guard for the conmen.

The ACCC says these scammers will unexpectedly call, email or even knock at your front door, pretending to either be NBN salesmen, from a government department or a telecommunications provider.

They will try various ways to part you from your money, claiming that ‘you must provide personal information, such as bank details, to connect to the NBN.’

Alternatively, the caller may tell you that you need to buy new equipment because your existing equipment is incompatible with the NBN and ask you to purchase equipment.

You should check with your preferred telecommunications provider via the phone numbers on their public websites, or from your preferred equipment manufacturer, to see if you really do need new equipment in order to connect to the NBN.

Don’t rely on any phone numbers given to you by the door knocker or unexpected caller, either. 

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said: “As the NBN rollout progresses, you may be receiving legitimate materials from NBN Co and telecommunications service providers outlining your options when it is available in your area.

“Unfortunately, scammers often use major government programs to trick people into handing over their money or personal details. We’re warning the community to be on guard and check who you are dealing with before providing any personal information or making purchases.”

“If you are unsure about what you need to do to switch to the NBN, you should contact your preferred telecommunications retail service provider. NBN Co does not provide retail services to consumers so will not generally ask for banking details.

“Never give your account details unless you made the contact. Don’t rely on numbers, email addresses or websites provided – find them through an independent source such as a phone book or online search. Do not purchase any new equipment before speaking with your provider.”

“If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.”

Although the ACCC says that ‘further information is available’ at its ScamWatch site, which certainly does help you learn how to avoid scams, this NBN scam or more information about it does not appear on the front page of the ScamWatch site.

However, while the ACCC is unable to co-ordinate its Scam Watching activities with an actual front page link on the very scam its media release is publicly warning us about, the ACCC does say that any scams you do come across (NBN or otherwise) can be reported at the Scam Watch site or by calling 1300 795 995.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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