Telstra warns against scammers taking their name

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

In the past 12 months, the number of comments from customers to Telstra about 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 customers’ identity and in particular their personal banking details.

Telstra Country Wide Area General Manager for the ACT, Larissa Redford, said the significant increase in attempts to deceive customers with false information over the telephone during the past 12 months is concerning for Telstra.

“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,” she said.

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

“Telstra is encouraging its customers to protect their personal information and be particularly wary of telephone calls from numbers they don’t recognise.”

Reports of telephone scams can be made to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission via the SCAMwatch website at www.scamwatch.gov.au; or customers can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au.

Telstra customers can also report a telephone scam to Telstra online via their Misuse of Service Form, via the telephone on 132200, and Telstra 24 x 7.

Larissa Redford has these 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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