Knock, knock – NBN door-to-door scams

Over the past few years, the rapid expansion of the NBN™ rollout has made “NBN™” a household name in the majority of Australian homes. Unfortunately, there are some dodgy dealers hoping to use the nation’s familiarity with the NBN™ to get a foot in the door – literally.

Door-to-door NBN™ scams are on the rise and they’re putting Aussies at risk every day. These scammers, who impersonate NBN Co staff, can demand payments for fraudulent services, check out your property for a burglary, or may even attempt to get access to your computer. To help you stay safe, we’ve put together a guide so you can recognise scammers and know when to shut the door.

Who’s commonly targeted by these scams?

High-density living areas are appealing to these types of scammers because they can knock on a lot of doors in a shorter amount of time. Apartment complexes and retirement villages are common targets, but you may still encounter these kinds of scammers if you live in a standalone home.

What do NBN Co impersonators usually look like and what will they say?

Scammers claiming to work for NBN Co may look the part with a fake uniform or fake ID. However, what they say to you is usually focused on getting you to make a payment, give them your personal information, or give them access to your home.

Here are some common examples of what these scammers may try to do while at your door:

  • Sign you up for the NBN™ and request a payment on the day for services that will never be connected.
  • Request access to your computer to “fix a problem with your NBN™” so they can install malicious software or steal your personal information.
  • Pretend that they need to make an assessment for/install NBN™ equipment so they can gain access to your property and see if it would be a good target for a burglary.
  • Demand payment for services in the forms of gift cards such as iTunes vouchers.

What should I do if I think I have a scammer on my doorstep?

If you think you’ve encountered one of these people, tell them you’re not interested, shut the door and lock it. You can call your local police to report an incident after if it has happened, but if it’s an emergency and someone is threatening to harm you, call 000!

How can I tell when NBN Co staff are the real deal?

If you haven’t switched to the NBN™ yet, when you do, you might need an NBN Co approved technician to visit your premises to install NBN™ equipment.

If every item on this checklist is ticked, then you know the person at your door is legit:

  • You’ve reached out to an NBN™ provider such as iiNet and applied for an NBN™ service.
  • You’ve received messages from your NBN™ provider advising you that a technician needs to visit your premises. You’ll be given an appointment date and time slot in advance.
  • The technician who arrives for your appointment will be registered on NBN Co’s enAble accreditation portal and will have an enable worker accreditation as a physical card, or as a digital card on their smartphone.

Do real NBN Co-approved technicians ever ask for a payment?

No. You’ll never need to make a payment to a legitimate NBN Co approved technician. Charges related to your NBN™ service will go through your NBN™ provider and not directly through NBN Co.

The rare exception to this rule is when a non-standard installation of NBN™ equipment attracts additional fees for Fixed Wireless or Satellite services (e.g. a free-standing mount for the antenna is required). Even then, you’ll receive a formal invoice directly from NBN Co – and payment definitely won’t be required in the form of gift cards!

What else should I keep in mind to stay safe?

  • NBN Co is a wholesaler, so they don’t sell services directly to the public. All NBN™ sales go through retail service providers like iiNet.
  • The general rollout of NBN™ infrastructure does NOT require NBN Co technicians to access your home. Building the wider network may involve work out in the street, but never in your house.
  • No legitimate business would ever require payments to be in the form of gift cards or iTunes vouchers.
  • Never let a stranger who shows up out of the blue into your home or allow them to use your personal computer.

Have you ever encountered an NBN™ scammer? Share it with us below so we can all stay aware and remember, if you’ve encountered scammers of any kind, please report it on the ACCC’s SCAMWatch website.


Image credit


  1. Malcolm says:

    We have been receiving regular phone calls from scammers claiming to be NBN asking for us to press 1 to contact a technician or else our service will cease in 24 hours. We just hang up.

  2. roy says:

    Hi, I have a lot of phone calls stating that if i do not reply to there call that my nbn net work will be disconnected in the next 24 hours ,lolo and hang up with out speaking.

  3. Colin Harris says:

    I am receiving the same phone calls on a regular basis. I usually lead them on and keep them talking as long as possible before telling them I know that it is a scam and not interested.

  4. JohnG says:

    Yeah, it’s usually a recording that sounds very official, and telling you that if you don’t press 1 to talk to the technicians, your phone and internet will be cut off within 24 hours. As we’ve been getting these calls almost on a daily basis for over a month, it’s absolutely lost its impact. We don’t wait for the end of the message any more.
    I think that the best way to avoid these scammers is to never answer until the phone has rung out 7 or 8 times. By then, all the call takers have picked up calls, and you don’t have to swear at the call taker to get rid of him / her!

  5. Fred Toye says:

    Like Malcolm these scammers target us very regularly. Don’t get sucked in.

  6. 3 days ago recvd the `we`re going to disc yr. l`line. and followed up with the click 1….

    I hung up

    This wld be the sixth time I`ve had this call

  7. Maureen says:

    Yes I have been getting the same calls three four times a day. Fortunately I can recognise the “private” or “unavailable” note on the handset and I hang up straight away.

  8. Bev Mantova says:

    We have been getting the same phone calls and do exactly the same HANG UP

  9. Esther Kuchel says:

    Thank you for this information, I have read it carefully and will report any scamers.

  10. John Ginesi says:

    I have received many phone calls on my nbn phone line, from National Broadband threatening me with service disconnection,I don’t believe them because it is a recorded message,these scammers are pretty stupid as they are so obviese in the way they present themselves,not as smart as the internet scammers or email scammers counterparts from Nigeria. I am not intimidated by their lack lustre schemes.

  11. Lyn says:

    I’ve been called to be told that NBN is being connected and it is a Telstra rep saying I urgently need to follow their instructions because if I don’t my internet will be disconnected given that Telstra is not my provider I questioned this and asked for a number to call back andc confirm unsurprisingly they hung up but not until they were quite heightened and aggressive in their language and approach basically they wanted me to go to my computer and follow their email instructions……I don’t think so

    • Josh McKenzie says:

      Hi Lyn,

      Definitely a smart decision to err on the side of caution here. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.

      – Joshy

  12. Sandra says:

    We often get calls supposedly from NBN and Foxtel, so I have now saved them in my phone under the name SCAM so I know not to answer it.

  13. david dunn says:

    We had a phone call from telstra saying our home phone was going to be disconected and i told them where to go.

  14. Brian says:

    I don’t answer ANY call without a name or number I recognise. I let it go through to the answering machine. If they leave a message, and it’s from someone I know, I’ll pick up and answer. If they don’t leave a message, then I take no action.

  15. Marion Symes says:

    Yes, calls same as above. So fed up with nuisance calls I leave the answering machine on. Hardly ever use my home phone anyway.

  16. Karen Tilbury says:

    I like to waste the time of these scammers, just like they like to waste mine. Plus, the extra added bonus, I have a lot of fun with them. They work to a strict script so when they encounter someone who doesn’t play along with the script, they have no idea what to do. For instance, once I said I was blind, once I said I had no hands and another time I told them that I had to talk to the policeman who took my computer. They stopped calling after awhile, I think they got the message, I was onto them. Peace at last.

  17. Averill says:

    Wefound a very good way to stop these scam artists ! We put our message bank on four rings and it answered. The voice says “hello?”. The caller start their scam chat and go on for ages before they realise hat there is no one there! We chalk another scalp up on our orca: board next to the phone! If it is a genuine call we can pick up and speak at any time of course!

  18. Kevin says:

    We get many phone calls from scammers from NBN Co & Telstra recorded message saying that our internet will be disconnected in 24 hours or there is a problem with the internet & tp press one to connect to a technician, Intell them that the Australian Federal Police have their IP address & phone number so they better keep looking over their should as the Australian Federal Police will be knocking on their door

  19. Jennifer Bungey says:

    We are aware and any call I get that is slightly delayed or not known to me we hang up.

  20. Reg says:

    “Yes”regular calls to “Press 1”- no action here.

  21. Neville says:

    Yeh, I am getting the SAME sort of phone calls, press 1 ect, ect,I have put my phone on voice record…….& guess what….no one leaves a message.

  22. keith gardner gardner says:

    no problems at present

  23. Clementina Masini says:

    I was contacted by phone about a year ago. The caller said that my NBN connection will be cut off in 30 minutes and that he needed to access my computer.
    I didn’t believe the story and hung up. I then contacted the ACCC.

    • Josh McKenzie says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Clementina. You’ve definitely made the right call here. Cheers for staying so vigilant.

      – Joshy

  24. Anonymous says:

    So many people getting these calls! Why can’t anyone stop it? Same here – have had all of them – tax scam, computer, nbn etc etc – answering machine only solution.

  25. Patricia White says:

    I have been receiving the telephone calls for over a year now. I knew they were scams but once pressed 1 as instructed just to see what the “technician” had to say. It was a call centre! they wanted me to make some changes to my computer and give them some information. I told them we all knew it was a scam and hung up.

    I now have a recording on my voicemail and ALL my calls go there. It says, basically, if you are not a friend or associate give up and don’t waste my time and yours as I can recognise a scam when I hear it, They still ring regularly but hang up as soon as the recording starts .
    If we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we get rid of these people?????

  26. Wozza says:

    Blow a whistle in their ear. But why can’t u guys do something to track down these parasites, maybe work in with the federal government?

  27. Alistair says:

    The NBN rollout has started in the area and getting absolutely hammered with phone call scams; 3-4 a day. The latest ones are asking what the connection speed is, and of course no matter what you say it is too slow.

  28. Jacky says:

    Yep, multiple times a day. I press 1 and get a very ‘nice & professional ‘ voice. I then ‘ping’ my microwave and say: “recording to Consumer Protection. The ‘nice’ voice changes to: “SHUD UP”….!!!!

  29. Ingvar Warnholtz says:

    We all get scammed through a set of numbers called at the same time.
    I give them 3 seconds, if no response – hang up.
    Meaning: if they haven’t got their act together, why bother listening?

  30. I get calls from NBN on almost a daily basis and sometimes three a day. My home phone is through my internet, and I see most other complaints are about these calls. I also receive emails, supposedly from Westnet, just after I receive my monthly account through email which is direct debited. The false site is very similar to the proper Westnet site so I have reported it, more than once but still they come! I wonder if there is a way it can be stopped.

  31. Rose O'Shea says:

    I have been receiving regular phone calls from scammers claiming to be NBN asking me to press 1 to contact a technician or else our service will cease in 24 hours. I hang up, but find this really irritating!

  32. Philip McIntyre says:

    Me too with all the phone calls, sometimes twice in an hour. Like everyone else here I just hang up. But I’m so irritated by them, does anyone know if the number we see on the phone can be blocked somehow?

  33. Richard says:

    If I get a scam call with a number I block it

  34. Mr M says:

    Interesting read, over a year ago i had a nbn “technician” who was contracted from some outsourced company show up without an appointment wanting to check the install, had uniform and a nbn badge and tools, gave a name and work number he was contracted from, checked outside then wanted to come inside and was looking at the nbn modem (disconnected and reconnected for some reason?) took photos of the connections and wanted to go on the computer to check the speeds which i declined, also returned a few hours later wanting to take a few more photos of a connection in the house he missed saying he was afraid he wouldn’t get paid, i thought it was a bit suss but nothing came of it and after calling the nbn they seemed to think it was ok? so these spot check house visits to check the quality of the previous install can be a legit thing but you need to be careful, does anyone else have experience like mine?