The operator of the National Broadband Network is urging Australians to be extra vigilant about their online security following a sharp increase in predatory scammers attempting to steal personal details and commit fraud.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in large numbers of people working, studying, shopping and socialising online.
But scammers are also increasing their efforts to steal people’s personal or financial details.
NBN Co chief security officer Darren Kane said scammers are using people’s reliance on connectivity at this time to mislead people into thinking that their NBN service will be disconnected if they do not provide a ‘technician’ with online access to their computer.
“As we spend more time online, it is important we do not become complacent when it comes to online security as scammers prey on human emotions, like fear and uncertainty, to trick people,” he said.
“Unfortunately, in times like this, phishing emails and scams soon follow as they try to take advantage of the disruption and uncertainty.
“With scammers increasing their efforts to use COVID-19 to steal people’s personal or financial details, we are starting to see the emergence of NBN related COVID-19 scams, so we are working with agencies like Scamwatch to continue to monitor the situation and alert the community.”
Mr Kane said there were a number of protocols households can put in place to avoid falling victim to a scam.
“We want to remind everyone to never give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer or devices via the installation of programs such as Team Viewer or share any financial information or personal details with someone they don’t know,” he said.
“Working remotely means you are likely to be in a different environment than your usual office location, so it is important to not get complacent when it comes to the security of work devices and documents.
“It is important to not click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails and never respond to unsolicited messages. This is even more important for all of us that are working from home, as scammers are on the hunt for ways to get access and disrupt home and corporate networks.”