Fair Trading Minister Stuart Ayres is warning NSW consumers about scam phone calls and emails reported to Fair Trading, Telstra and media outlets in recent weeks.
Mr Ayres said consumers had reported receiving unsolicited calls and emails from scammers claiming to represent Telstra and trying to scam them in a number of ways.
“This week a pensioner reported to her local radio station that she had received a call from someone claiming to be from Telstra and making her an offer on the basis of an authorisation from Telstra,” he said.
“She then called Telstra and it was confirmed as a scam.
“Another consumer reported a call also allegedly from Telstra informing her there was some problem with her internet connection and seeking confirmation of her personal details.
“This is just another variation of the Microsoft scam, where scammers seek remote access to your computer so they can then raid your personal information, including bank account details.
“Scammers have reportedly threatened to sue people for putting Telstra’s infrastructure at risk.
“When the person has requested proof that they are a Telstra rep, scammers have given out a fake number for Telstra which, when the consumer calls, puts them back on the line with the scammer.
“Scammers are also well-versed at creating a sense of urgency to incite fear and anxiety that your device has been compromised and must be fixed immediately.
“If you provide your credit card details and give remote access to your computer, the scammer may not only take more than the stated ‘fee’, but also infect your computer to gain access to your personal information and commit other acts of fraud.
“Yet another consumer reported receiving a fake Telstra invoice via email.
“What alerted her to it being a scam was that the account was several hundred dollars above what she expected and when she contacted Telstra she discovered her account was not due and certainly not for the amount the scammers claimed,” Mr Ayres said.
Telstra urged customers to be very wary of unsolicited telephone calls they receive at home, or emails they’re sent from unfamiliar sources. .
“These ‘hoax’ callers and emailers are trying to trick our customers and obtain their personal information, including their personal banking details. Our advice is to hang up and hang up immediately,” a spokesperson said.
Telstra’s tips to avoid scams are:
- If you’re not sure that the person on the other end of the phone is who they say they are, then hang up and call the organisation by using its official contact details;
- Don’t share personal, credit card or banking details over the phone, unless you’ve made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source;
- Be careful of making calls to phone numbers beginning with 190. These are charged at a premium rate and can be expensive.
- Never visit websites given to you by an unsolicited caller or provide your e-mail address to an unsolicited caller: They could be trying to infect your devices with malicious software (also known as ‘malware’) or a virus, or want to gain remote control over your computer;
- Don’t respond to text messages or missed calls that come from numbers you don’t recognise. Similarly, don’t click on links in SMS that come from numbers you don’t know.
- If you have any suspicions or doubts or you think something’s not quite right, just hang up.