nbn to help 10,000 Australians get ‘ScamFit’, as reports of nbn impersonation scams rise


ScamFit will give older Australians the skills to fight back against scammers with the goal of helping reduce the impact of nbn-related scams, which have cost Australians over $1.4 million this year

nbn is on a mission to help 10,000 older Australians get ‘ScamFit’, providing them with the skills and education needed to fight-back against scammers.

Launched today, the nbn ScamFit Program will arm Aussies with practical tips and techniques on how to avoid falling victim to scams, and raise awareness about the steps to take if they suspect they’ve been contacted by a scammer. As part of the program, nbn will be running online ScamFit Workouts (workshops) during Scams Awareness Week and publishing a ScamFit guide withnbn’stop tips for protecting against scammers.

According to data from Scamwatch, Australians lost more than $1.4 million to nbn-related scams between January and September this year – a significant jump from 2020, when total annual losses to nbn-related scams reached just over $1 million. People from Victoria have reported the highest losses ($479,779) to nbn impersonation scams so far this year, followed by people in NSW ($473,213) and Queensland ($306,212).

Losses to nbn impersonation scams are primarily due to ‘remote access scams’, one of the largest growing scam types in Australia. In a remote access scam, a scammer will call and request access to a victim’s devices in order to transfer money, often without their knowledge. 

Recent reports of nbn-related remote access scams show many scammers are using a ‘hacking’ scenario to take advantage of their victims.  In this scenario, a scammer will contact their victim claiming that their computer has been accessed by hackers and ask for remote access to the computer in order to stop the hackers. 

People over the age of 65 are often the most vulnerable to remote access scams and in 2021, the highest number of reports and losses from nbn-impersonation scams came from this age group.

nbn will be kicking off its ScamFit Program with a joint online ‘Workout’ session hosted in partnership with the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association, the national peak body for seniors and technology. The Workout is open to all Australians and free registration is available at nbn’s Community events page.

To meet the 10,000 commitment, nbn will continue the ScamFit program beyond Scams Awareness Week with online and face to face community sessions and via a social media education campaign targeting older Australians. 

Darren Kane, Chief Security Officer at nbn, said:  

“Scams impact Australians of all ages, but older Australians can often be scammers’ primary targets. These scammers are smart – they know what to say to sound convincing over the phone, and they can create a sense of urgency or confusion to put their victim off-kilter.

“When cornered by a scammer, many older Australians may not know how to shut down the conversation or avoid being tricked into making a mistake. As the nation’s digital backbone, nbn is proud to be helping Australians get ScamFit by giving them the skills to fight back.

“Technology makes our lives much easier in so many ways, but it’s also important to understand what to be mindful of, and these sessions cover all the basics to help the community stay safe.

“The team at nbn is committed to empowering the community with knowledge, education, and information to help protect our loved ones from these insidious scams.” 

Nan Bosler, spokesperson for the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association, welcomed the commitment and encouraged older Australians to get involved in the events.

“People often underestimate older Australians, especially when it comes to technology. But given the right skills and training there’s no reason older Australians can’t arm ourselves against scammers – and maybe even help teach younger Aussies a thing or two about getting ScamFit.” 

In addition to the ScamFit Workouts for older Australians, nbn will also be running a series of online information events for businesses and other members of the community in support of Scams Awareness Week. To find a ScamFit Workshop or local event, visit nbn’s Community events page.

nbn’s top ScamFit tips:  

  • Visit nbn’s website at www.nbn.com.au/scamadvice for information on how to identify and avoid potential scammers or for advice if you suspect you have been scammed.  
  • Remember nbn will never call and ask to access your computer or advise that you’re going to be disconnected. nbn is a wholesaler, which means it does not sell phone or internet services directly to the public. People need to contact their preferred phone and internet provider in order to make the switch.  
  • Never give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer or devices via the installation of programs, such as Team Viewer.  
  • nbn 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. 

nbn impersonation scams - State/territory breakdown*

 

2020 (full 12 months) vs 2021 (YTD to 30 Sep)

  2020

2021

  Reports

Losses

Reports

Losses

AUSTRALIA  5077  $1,029,369 6458 $1,428,475
VIC 1753 $437,688 1875 $479,779
NSW 1373 $240,288 2201 $473,213
QLD 903 $168,203 1141 $306,212
WA 385 $146,422 461 $101,196
SA 360 $22,928 431 $31,275
TAS 104 $8,900 102 $21,800
NT 35 $0 52 $12,000
ACT 163 $5,000 189 3,000
State not provided  3 $0 6 $0
*data provided by Scamwatch  

Media enquiries

Kelly Lane
Phone: 0473 877 010
Email: kellylane@nbnco.com.au

Matt Johnston
Phone: 0457 489 872
Email: 
mattjohnston@nbnco.com.au

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