The scammers are targeting phones, the internet and people's superannuation.
The scammers are targeting phones, the internet and people's superannuation.

New warning as NBN scams rampant

Anxious Noosa Waters resident Margaret Davies has to regularly screen her landline calls for those annoying "Nicole from NBN" phone calls which have already helped scam more than $320,000 from unsuspecting, often elderly victims this year.

NBN-themed scams are becoming very common, with more than 2300 reported between January and June this year to Scamwatch, with 480 of those in Queensland.

The scams most often come from "Nicole from NBN".

Now it appears she has a partner in crime with a woman named Carole reportedly also making scam calls.

Meanwhile Scamwatch has received more than 3600 scam reports mentioning the coronavirus with more than $2,382,000 in reported losses since the outbreak of virus.

Scams of all kinds have cost Australians more than $12,263,000 to July this year according to Scamwatch.

Ms Davies is retired and volunteers with the Noosa Waters Neighbourhood Watch team.

"I get them every day about my NBN is due to be cut off any minute and all that business," she said.

There are other calls purportedly from Amazon which federal authorities said usually ask for payment, personal data or offering a refund.

"They're pretty daunting for someone elderly because they come across as someone pretty genuine," Ms Davies said.

Noosa Heads police station
Noosa Heads police station

"It's a bit scary, because I don't know too much about all this technology and how it works.

"It can be quite dangerous for people not aware," she said.

Ms Davies said she screened her calls with her answering service but the scammers found a way around that.

"Usually it comes through as a private number and that's the other scary part, because I do have some friends who have private numbers and you never know whether to pick it up or not," she said.

"It doesn't matter how many times you hang up they'll still ring back"

Noosa Waters Neighbourhood Watch warned in April this year of scammers cold-calling people claiming to be from organisations that can help gain early access to personal superannuation as part of the Federal Government COVID-19 financial hardship scheme.

Noosa Police acting officer in charge Acting Senior Sergeant Troy Cavell said they do have people arriving at the station reporting these rip-off scams, but they are usually directed to Scamwatch for these cyber crime investigations.

Some years back a 55-year-old Noosa man lost $118,000 to a mail order bride in an internet scam, while a Cooroy man who offered money management advice had his internet site hacked with scammers using the domain to lure unsuspecting victims around the world to hand over their bank account details.

Scamwatch is launching an awareness campaign.
Scamwatch is launching an awareness campaign.

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said scammers are increasingly using trusted brands like NBN to trick unsuspecting consumers into parting with their money or personal information.

A new NBN themed scam invovles residents being sent a fraudulent NBN invoice for payment after they were offered an upgrade over the phone.

"NBN Co is a wholesaler and does not make unsolicited calls to sell products, request remote access to computers through programs like Team Viewer, ask you to purchase gift cards in lieu of cash payments, threaten to disconnect your services, or request personal or financial details," NBN's chief security officer Darren Kane said.

The Scamwatch website is:

NBN advice:

• Never give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer or devices via the installation of programs, such as Team Viewer.

• NBN Co does not make automated calls, such as robocalls, to advise of disconnections to nbn or existing copper phone line services. Do not engage with these calls.

• Do not share your financial information (i.e. bank, credit card or gift card details) or personal details with an unsolicited caller or door knockers trying to seek payment for a service over the NBN network.

• If in doubt, hang up and call your retail service provider on their official customer service centre number to check if the call is legitimate. Do not use contact details supplied by the caller.