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NBN impersonation scams to watch out for

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There are number of internet-related scams you may encounter as you go about your everyday life but we usually expect them to involve our computers! We’ve previously discussed scams that can pop up in your emails and unexpected phone calls demanding remote access to your computer; now it’s time to talk about one of the latest tactics these shady characters are using to trick Australians out of their hard-earned cash: impersonating NBN™ staff.

That’s right – there’s been reports of people claiming to be from NBN Co, knocking on doors and demanding payments. Safety is our one of our top priorities, so read on to find out more about the scam and how to spot it so you don’t get stung.

 

NBN™ door-knocker scams

It’s very common for these scammers to target high-density living areas such as apartment complexes and retirement villages. Unlike emails or phone calls, this scam involves a real person at the door, so it’s harder to ignore them or disengage and some people may become flustered or intimidated into complying with their demands.

How it works is that the scammers will claim to be working for NBN Co, Telstra or even Windows Support and – they may even have an official-looking uniform or fake ID. Their objective may vary, but common examples include:

  • Trying to sign you up for NBN™ services and taking payment for services that will never be connected.
  • Trying to get access to your computer to “fix a problem” when they’re really installing malicious software or attempting to steal your personal information.
  • Gaining access to your property to see if it would be a good target for a burglary.
  • Demanding payment for services in the forms of gift cards such as iTunes vouchers.

No matter what they’re trying to do, it’s all nasty stuff. If you think you have one of these people on your doorstep, tell them you’re not interested, shut the front door and lock it. You can call your local police to report an incident after if it has happened, but if someone is threatening to harm you, call 000!

 

Remember these rules

Here’s some important facts to keep in mind so you won’t get confused by any stories a scammer is trying to tell you:

  • NBN Co doesn’t sell services directly to the public. All NBN™ sales go through retail service providers like iiNet and Westnet (and all service issues go through us, too!).
  • The rollout of NBN™ infrastructure does NOT require NBN Co staff to access your home. They may need to do work out in the street to build the network, but never in your house.
  • No real business would ever require payments to be in the form of gift cards or iTunes vouchers. If someone asks for this, they’re a scammer!
  • Never let a stranger into your home or allow them to use your personal computer.

 

How to spot the real deal

So, when will you actually get a visit from an NBN Co approved technician? It’s uncommon to require a home visit but for some installations it may be necessary. Here’s a checklist – you’ll need every item ticked to know the visitor 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 to install NBN™ equipment. 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.

enablecard

The key is that you’ve reached out to an NBN™ provider and applied for a service or reported a service fault. Anyone showing up out of the blue is a red flag!

Furthermore, you should remember that no payment is required to be made to the technician. If there are any setup fees for your service, they’ll be invoiced through your NBN™ provider. All charges related to your NBN™ service will go through your NBN™ provider and not NBN Co – the rare exception to this rule is a non-standard installation of NBN™ equipment for Fixed Wireless or Satellite services, such as when a free-standing mount for the antenna must be built. A non-standard installation may attract additional charges which will be invoiced directly from NBN Co.

If you’ve encountered any dodgy behaviour, you can report it on the ACCC’s SCAMWatch website.

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20 comments

  1. Paul S Adams says:

    Great advice, and really good thinking by NBN to have a web-site where you can check the accreditation of the person.

    One additional piece of advice I would add is to take a photograph of the person with your mobile telephone. If they refuse to take off dark-glasses, they have red-flagged themselves.

  2. Bill says:

    Now you’ve gone and shown these scammers what a legitimate ID looks like.

  3. Jan says:

    The link above to “NBN Co’s enAble accreditation portal” goes nowhere except to an error message “Page not found
    Sorry, we couldn’t find the page you requested.”
    Please correct the link.

  4. David H. says:

    Latest phone scam is a recorded message from “National Broadband” telling you your service will be disconnected – select 1 to talk to an agent or 2 to disconnect your service!

    Just hang up. But I’m getting 1 or 2 calls a day for the past week now.

  5. Bill Cook says:

    I got a phone call from a female. She said she was from Telstra & gave me her name. She said that there were many problems in our area & I could lose my internet connection for 3 months.I said that I was with iinet. She said
    that iinet could not fix my problem. I was told to sit down at the computer & she would direct me to a technician who would solve my
    problem. I refused, she got angry so I hung up.

  6. Aidan Gleeson says:

    Dear Sir/Madam.
    With regards to the NBN service. It was installed into our home in May 17 and since then we have had nothing but trouble with the NBN service.
    Contrary to this email sent by iinet, I assure you that NO message from NBN provider was received when a Technician knocked on our door some 8 weeks ago. And that includes other residents along our street too. See the next paragraph in brackets:

    (You’ve received messages from your NBN™ provider advising you that a technician needs to visit your premises to install NBN™ equipment. You’ll be given an appointment date and time slot in advance.) This never happened

    I have asked iinet to liaise with NBN to remove their service and return to the older system, but to No avail.. At least the ADSL worked.
    From what I gather, nobody is listening to the customers, who are having no amount of issues with the NBN service.

    You are welcome to liaise with me.
    Yours sincerely.
    Aidan Gleedson

    • Josh McKenzie says:

      Hi Aidan,

      Thanks for reaching out! Once upgraded to NBN it is no longer possible to move services back to legacy ADSL service as the roll out to fixed line NBN services is mandatory. That said, we most certainly don’t want you to suffer with a poor service and want to ensure it’s running as smoothly as possible if you’d like to shoot us an email to iionline@iinet.net.au letting us know what troubles you’ve been having recently, we’d be happy to lend a hand.

      – Josh

  7. Malcolm McPhee says:

    Is anybody else getting this scam?

    UPDATE YOUR PAYMENT METHOD

    Hello,
    We were unable to automatically pay your last invoice due to a problem with your cuerrent payment method.
    We will make additional attempts to process your renewal, but your service may be interrupted.
    To avoide a delay in your service.
    update your cuerrent payment

    Kind regards
    Craig Levy
    Chief Operating Officer

  8. Declan says:

    You say “The rollout of NBN™ infrastructure does NOT require NBN Co staff to access your home.”.
    Pretty sure the NBN crew who installed my service came inside to test and then replace the old cable connection through to the street as it didn’t pass the connectivity test.

    • Josh McKenzie says:

      Hi Declan,

      Cheers for taking the time to comment. There are most certainly some installs that require technicians to attend the premises. When the technician needs to pop inside to either install hardware or lines, we’ll book the appointment with you and let you know to ensure that your home for the appointment. If we’ve not let you know that someone from NBN will be stopping by on a specific date, better to air on the side of caution.

      – Josh

  9. Lance Warrell says:

    Thanks for the information

  10. Clementina Masini says:

    Our land line phone works with our NBN internet.
    For the last four days we have been plagued by four phone calls a day from someone who says she is from NBN.
    These calls are pre recorded and they say:
    I am fron NBN and I am here to tell you that the your NBN connection will be turned off today.
    If you wish to avoid this, press 1.
    If you want your NBN terminated press 2.
    At this post I hang up without pushing anything and without saying a word.
    I phoned NBN and reported this problem.

  11. Margaret Head says:

    I did a Phishing Countermeasures course at CSU. It was free and went for 6 weeks. I highly recommend it for everyone. See the link. https://www.itmasters.edu.au/about-it-masters/free-short-courses/

  12. John Berges says:

    When would the NBN upgrade will be available at Jindalee 4074 Qld.
    Thank you

    • Josh McKenzie says:

      Hi John,

      Thanks for reaching out! Rollout for NBN can be very much address specific so tricky to say definitively. With Jindalee area, I believe majority of the area is serviced by a couple of other fibre optic networks, if you are in these pockets of the neighbourhood they will likely remain with the present wholesale company in charge in the area. If you’d like for us to take a look into the matter further, please always feel welcome to reach out to our sales or change of plan teams on 13 19 17.

      – Josh

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