NBN impersonations most common phone scam in 2019

4,419 total scams related to NBN representative impersonation

Scammers impersonating NBN representatives were the most reported scam to the Australian Media and Communications Authority (ACMA) during 2019.

Revealed in ACMA’s top five scams for 2019, there were 4,419 reported phone scams relating to the NBN reported to the authority during the year.

This was well above the second-most reported phone scam, which were computer virus and tech support scams with 1,761 reports.

This was followed by DNCR (Do not call registry) registration scam sat 1,245 reports, accident claim scams at 435 reports and then the “So called Chinese” scams with 417 reports.

In total, these top five scams accounted for 87 per cent of all reported scams throughout the year.

Fiona Cameron, authority member at ACMA member, said the authority is taking steps to cut back overall scam calls through its Combating Scams: Action plan report.

 “The project will put enforceable obligations on telco providers to share data and work together to identify and block scam calls like these ones,” Cameron said.

“There will also be a trial that will identify where high volumes of scam calls are coming from, and have Australian carriers work with their international counterparts to block those calls.

“We are confident that we can significantly reduce these scams in a bid to protect Australia.”

In addition to the top five scams, Cameron said there has been a spike in text message scams impersonating Australia Post in the lead up to Christmas, and that ACMA was working with telecommunication companies to fix any issues.

“It comes in the form of a text message which appears to come from Australia Post, claiming there is problem with delivery of a package,” Cameron said.

“The SMS includes a link to a fake Australia Post website that will ask for your personal and financial details.

“If you receive a suspicious SMS messages, delete the message and do not click the link.”

After receiving a scam call, Cameron suggested to let both ACMA and the impersonated organisation know.

“If you think a call is suspect, don’t engage, instead hang up, block the number and report the call to Scamwatch,” she said.

“If you are unsure whether a call is a scam or not, hang up and contact the organisation the caller claims to be from to verify the details.”