Over the past 12 months, there has been a four-fold increase in comments to Telstra from customers who mention telephone scams.
In most cases, customers made the comments after they were called at home by a scammer and told they need to pay for technical support to fix a problem that doesn’t exist on their home computer. The caller falsely claims they are from Telstra and asks for remote access to the computer.
The criminals operating these scams are trying to sell customers fake software updates, or trick them into disclosing their personal details over the telephone so those details can then be used illegally.
Any attempt to deceive our customers with false information over the telephone is very concerning for Telstra. The fact that most of these scam calls originate from overseas makes it difficult to prevent the calls from being made, so we are likely to see them continue.
Customers need to protect their personal information at all times and be particularly wary of telephone calls from numbers they don’t recognise.
If you have been the victim of a telephone scam you can report it to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) via their SCAMwatch website. Or, you can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit their website.
Tips to avoid phone scams:
- If you’re not sure that the person on the other end of the phone is legitimate, hang up and call the organisation by using their official contact details
- Be wary of sharing personal, credit card or banking details over the phone, unless you’ve made the call or the phone number came from a trusted source
- Never give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer
- Make sure your computer is protected with regularly updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software
- If your alarm bells are ringing or you think something’s not quite right, just hang up