A phone scam claiming to be from the National Broadband Network (NBN) has ramped up in Queensland, with one woman harassed eight times in the past three days.
The ABC has been told the robocalls include an automated voice warning the NBN would be turned off in the local area so maintenance work could be undertaken.
People are prompted to press “1” to discuss the matter further, or “2” to disconnect from the internet.
Beryce Nelson from Toogoolawah in the Brisbane Valley said the NBN was not available in her area, so she knew it was some kind of scam.
“I’ve had eight of them over the past three days, repeated calls – robocalls – from an organisation or group of people pretending to be NBN, and I would think that there would be something involving your bank account details if you did get into any discussion with them,” she said.
“I was intimidated the second and third time and it’s because I thought, ‘Well maybe it is the NBN’, and then I thought, ‘No, don’t be silly – we don’t have the NBN’.”
She said she hung up the phone and did not engage, but was worried not everyone would realise the calls were part of a scam.
“The electronic voice is very authoritative and scary,” Ms Nelson said.
“I just want to let people know that if they get this call, it’s not fair dinkum, because if you were in an NBN area, you might very well think it was real.”
She said she had tried to contact NBN Co to let them know about the phone calls, but had not been able to get through.
“I did try but the wait time was very long and that’s probably because there might be a lot of people getting this call who are trying to follow up, just being confused and a bit afraid,” she said.
NBN Co told the ABC it was aware of scammers asking for personal information and financial details.
NBN Co chief security officer Darren Kane said people needed to protect their personal information by being on guard, verifying who they were talking to and never disclosing bank accounts or other personal details to an unsolicited caller.
“It is important to be aware that NBN Co will never make unsolicited calls or doorknock to sell broadband services,” he said.
“NBN Co may make calls to individuals registered on our Medical Alarm or Fire and Lift registers, but will never request payment or bank account details during these calls.”
Mr Kane said any scams should be reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission through its Scamwatch website.