Scam alert: Mandurah man raises alarm of robocall scam in attempt to help elderly

Mondays can be tough for most people but this week it was particularly difficult for an elderly Mandurah couple who received NBN robocalls from scammers every 45 minutes.  Photo: File image.
Mondays can be tough for most people but this week it was particularly difficult for an elderly Mandurah couple who received NBN robocalls from scammers every 45 minutes. Photo: File image.

Mondays can be tough for most people but this week it was particularly difficult for an elderly Mandurah couple who received NBN robocalls from scammers every 45 minutes. 

Frank and Vicki Hill said they’re tired of being targeted by scammers and warned other people in the community to be conscious of their tricks. 

The pair said people have tried to slap them with “almost every scam you could think”.

“We’ve had so many of them. The amount is just incredible,” Mrs Hill said. 

The most-recent scam the duo have intercepted involved threatening to disconnect their household NBN to trick them into accepting a paid call.

Read more: 

According WA ScamNet reports, the unsolicited call includes an automated voice advising residents that their NBN would be disconnected within the next 24 hours unless dealt with immediately.

“There’s an incoming call that has a robocall saying they’re from the [National Broadband Network],” Mr Hill explained.

“You’re given two options that say “you’re going to be disconnected today, if you will this to happen one or if you don’t want this to happen press two”. 

“Whether you press one or two that call becomes a paid call.

“It’s a premium rate you’re now paying and it’s probably an overseas premium rate… and because it’s a premium rate they’re going to get money out of you anyway.” 

Luckily, the couple cottoned on to the deception, hung up and called ScamNet for advice.

“The man at ScamNet said to me ‘for goodness sake, don’t press any of the buttons even to annoy them’. Normally, I like to play merry hell with scammers, but not with these ones because of the metred call,” Mr Hill said. 

The pair held great concern for Mandurah’s elderly community, who they believed would be the prime target for the scam. 

When the scam first reared its ugly head in July, NBN chief security officer Darren Kane issued a warning to Australians.

“Scammers are increasingly taking the opportunity to impersonate NBN Co and take advantage of consumers, including those living in retirement villages,” he said. 

“It’s important to be aware that NBN Co will never make unsolicited calls or door knock to sell broadband services. 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.

“Protect your personal information by being on guard, verify who are you are talking to and do not give your personal details or bank account details to an unsolicited caller.”

Tips from NBN and ScamNet: 

  • Always ask yourself whether the person or business that’s contacted you out of the blue is who they say they are.
  • Verify the identity of the contact through an independent source. Don’t use the contact details provided by the caller or in the message sent to you.
  • Never send money, give your banking or credit card details or other personal information to anyone you don’t know or trust, and never by email or over the phone.
  • Know that a government agency or trusted business will never ask you to pay them with gift or store cards, iTunes cards, wire transfers or Bitcoin.
  • Never give anyone remote access to your computer if they’ve contacted you unexpectedly – whether through a phone call, pop up window or email.
  • Keep personal information secure online - change passwords often, don’t give credit card details to websites that aren’t secure, do not send copies of passports/drivers licenses to third parties that you did not contact yourself.

For more information and tips visit the ScamNet website or click here

Have you fallen for a scam? Or want to warn others about one? Share your story with us via editor.mandurahmail@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Follow Caitlyn Rintoul on Twitter via @caitlynrintoul