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Telstra warns of four-fold increase in telephone scams

Telstra is reminding customers across Australia to be wary of scammers who attempt to obtain their personal information via telephone.

The telco claims that in the past 12 months, the amount of feedback reporting telephone scams has increased four-fold.

In most cases, customers are called at home and told they need to pay for technical support to fix a problem that doesn’t exist on their home computer. The caller falsely claims they are from Telstra and asks for remote access to the computer. The people running the phone scam appear to want our customers’ identity and in particular their personal banking details.

Telstra Executive Director for Customer Advocacy, Peter Jamieson, said the significant increase in attempts to deceive customers with false information over the telephone during the past 12 months is very concerning.

“The criminals operating these scams are trying to sell customers fake software updates, or trick them into disclosing their personal details over the telephone so those details can then be used illegally,” he said.

“The increasing number of these telephone scams is concerning and customers should be alert to any attempts to trick them into disclosing their credit card or banking details over the telephone.”

The telco is encouraging customers to protect their personal information and be particularly wary of telephone calls from numbers they don’t recognise. Reports of suspected telephone scams can be made to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission via the SCAMwatch website or directly to Crime Stoppers.

Top tips to avoid phone scams:

  • If you’re not sure that the person on the other end of the phone is legitimate, hang up and call the organisation by using their official contact details.
  • Be wary of sharing personal, credit card or banking details over the phone, unless you’ve made the call or the phone number came from a trusted source.
  • Never give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer.
  • Make sure your computer is protected with regularly updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
  • If your alarm bells are ringing or you think something’s not quite right, just hang up.

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Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie is the editor-at-large of Dynamic Business. Stephanie brings with her a passion for journalism, business, and new ideas. On her days off, you might find her reading a book on the beach.

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