Australians have lost an average of $110,000 per month to NBN scams in 2019.
In just five months, the cost of NBN scams has eclipsed that of all last year.
Scammers pretend to be from NBN Co and contact their victims by phone or in person offering to ‘sell’ or ‘fix’ phone and internet services.
The ACCC has also had reports of scammers calling customers during a blackout and offering the ability to stay connected during blackouts for an extra fee.
Scammers use these methods to collect personal information like banking details, install malware on computers, or ask for payment via gift cards.
According to the ACCC, people over the age of 65 are most vulnerable and make up 60 per cent of reported losses.
Acting Chair of the ACCC, Delia Rickard, said that scammers are “increasingly using trusted brands like ‘NBN’ to trick unsuspecting consumers into parting with their money or personal 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,” Rickard said.
“If you think a scammer has gained access to your personal information, such as bank account details, contact your financial institution immediately.”
Darren Kane, Chief Security Officer of NBN Co, said consumers need to be more aware of NBN Co’s practices.
“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,” 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.”
More than five million homes and businesses are now connected to the NBN, but Australia still ranks poorly in global internet speeds.
NBN Co expects to complete the network by June 2020 at a total cost of $51 billion – $2 billion over budget.