Telstra Internet Scam – Are you a victim?

telstra-internet-scam

Before we start about Telstra internet scam, let’s start from the very beginning…

Have you ever heard of the term internet scam?

Today, more and more people are searching on Google for this question.

It is an important question to be answered by webmasters because it makes or breaks someone’s day.

First, let me explain what an internet scam means exactly. It is not about a financial fraud related to computers, but any attempt to deceive people for money with false promises of some kind. These scams are often presented as contests, lotteries, fake adverts, or job opportunities. A person who tries to cheat others can also be called a “scammer”. The larger plan behind these internet scams is that the victims will eventually pay up – either in time and/or money.

There are many ways that scammer keeps their victims hooked; one of them is by requiring a “registration fee” before you can find out how to get the prize. Before you know it, they’ve raked in your cash and you’re left empty-handed. I’m sure we all heard about this kind of fraud when we were kids, with fake treasure maps and suchlike. These days it’s done through emails or phone calls, rather than physical paper… but the principle is still the same: if something looks too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.

As soon as someone who just registered gets suspicious, these scammers will put up another fake contest/prize and go after the next round of victims.

What is the Telstra internet scam?

We all know that the internet is an amazing invention. It has brought us closer together in our modern world. Unfortunately, this means we also have to deal with many different types of fraud and scams. One such example is known as a ‘Telstra internet scam’, which targets people who use Telstra’s NBN service and attempts to steal their personal details and money.

Phone calls

The Telstra internet scam works by contacting their victims or potential victims via telephone. The fraudsters call at inconvenient times usually between 10 pm and 8 am when they believe most people will be asleep and less likely to pick up the phone If the victim answers, the phone will be silent, and if they don’t answer there will be a message saying something like “This is David from Telstra. We’re having trouble with your internet connection”. This could also come up as a missed call.

The next step in the scam is to use scare tactics to make the victim believe their computer has been hacked and infected by a virus or other malware. The fraudster will claim they need remote access to the computer, which would allow them to fix it without even needing to come inside. They ask for permission and then take control of this person’s system, all while being able to watch everything that was going on from another computer somewhere else in the world. While remotely controlling the device, they have full access to any personal information they could find, including bank account numbers and passwords.

Once this is all done, the fraudster will tell their victim that a “computer expert” who they work for will be in contact with them to help fix everything. In reality, there is no computer expert and all they are trying to do now is get the person’s money. They make an offer to either sell you a support plan or install security software designed for phones onto your device as if it were a phone even though it runs on a different platform altogether. Neither of these offers actually fixes anything because nothing needs fixing at all. Telstra has contacted multiple people about this scam recently and has brought awareness to exactly how criminals are going around stealing from innocent people. The only way to avoid these criminals is to hang up and delete any emails you receive dealing with them.

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Emails

As a part of the ‘Telstra interner scam’, many Australians are getting emails claiming to be from people representing Telstra that will offer you sign-up deals for their high-speed internet service. After completing a short form and receiving an email confirming your details they’ll send another email saying to click on the link below. The link takes you to a website that asks for additional information including bank account details, one of your credit cards, or your pin number under the guise of checking if you qualify for any government grants. Once this information is provided they’ll use it to withdraw money from your account.

Telstra has denied these claims and state that all official correspondence with them would come through their official channels such as a letter in the mail or by calling them over the phone directly. They also ask anyone who has fallen victim to this scam to notify them immediately.

How to avoid internet scams?

You should never send money to people you don’t know, for any reason. If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is. Never give your bank account information (credit card number, pin code) to anyone who contacts you out of the blue – even if they tell you they need it to “confirm” or “verify” your winnings.

If at some point during the process someone tells you that you have won something; but didn’t get your sensitive information (like a bank account number); Then he/she will ask for your cell phone number in order to call and verify all the details of the prize.

Don’t fall into this trap! You might receive a call later on from someone who will tell you that because of some technical error that happened, they need to verify your details again. This is just a trick that the scammers use in order to get all information about you and get access to your bank account.

Typically this kind of scam is not very common but if you get contacted by someone wanting money from you saying he/she won something but didn’t have your information; Then it’s better not to take any risk and go for other options instead.

There are also different ways which people use in order to get their victims’ credit card details. The most popular way is over the phone call where the scammer calls his/her victim pretending he/she works at a reputable company (bank, online store) and that he/she has problems logging in because of some issues with his/her bank account.

This kind of call usually doesn’t last too long so you won’t get suspicious about anything, on the contrary, you would feel happy to help him/her out with any information he/she might need. If possible try to use your phone rather than a public phone especially when talking with scammers since they can see your number while calling and use it for their benefit.

Remember – A legitimate company will never ask or require you to provide the personal details or payment card details via email or over the phone! If this happens then just hang up the call and do not reply back – The person who contacted you is a scammer! Additionally, if you have been scammed by a person please report it to the police so they could investigate and prevent the same thing from happening to other people.

Examples of popular internet scams

A wide range of scams exists that you need to be aware of. Some scams are very simple, while others can trick even the smartest people! Here are a few popular ones:

AFP

Similar to the Telstra internet scam, this is where you’ll receive an email from the AFP stating that they have intercepted a package or mail delivery with your name on it. They’ll ask you to click on a link so they can release the package to you again, however, if you do click on the link you’re directed to a phishing website that asks for information about your personal details. Once this information is given out, scammers are able to use it for identity theft or claim credit cards in your name without having physical access to any of your documents.

Both of these scams are being used by criminals overseas and Australia has seen large numbers of cases reported across our major cities within the last year. As a result, Telstra have notified customers to be aware of these scams and for those who think they may have been a victim of identity theft or credit card fraud to contact them immediately.

InboxDollors

InboxDollars sends you emails saying you have won a prize and to claim your prize you must first click a link. This link takes you to a website where they earn money from ad revenue by tricking unaware victims into going to these websites. After clicking on the email, many people sign up for InboxDollars and give them bank account information thinking they have won this prize. In return, InboxDollars makes money off of whatever product or service was promised as well as whatever customer information that person provided.

Nigerian Prince

The Nigerian Prince scam is another common one. A person will receive an email saying that they are a Nigerian prince in need of money and if you send them some, they will send you back more than triple your initial investment then request that you help get his money out of Nigeria into your bank account. Unsuspecting people fall for this trap because it promises to make them lots of money quickly. However, the promised amounts never arrive and it’s only when they attempt to quit participating in this scheme do many realize their bank account is empty, having sent all of their supposed earnings right back to the scammer.

Netflix

Netflix phishing emails are becoming increasingly popular these days. These emails ask you to verify information about your Netflix account with certain links provided in the email, supposedly to verify your account so you can watch movies. However, if you click these links it is possible that they will actually take you to a site where your computer will become infected with malware, which can steal personal information or damage data on the device.

Replica websites

Replica websites are one of the most common ways people lose money online. These sites create replica versions of popular shopping sites like Amazon, Microsoft and eBay in order to trick visitors into thinking it is the real retailer website. Once users arrive they are told that everything offered on the original merchant’s shop has been marked down significantly, but once they try to purchase an item they will be asked for a shipping fee before their “orders” can be shipped out. In reality, there is nothing being shipped and the user will lose their money.

phishing-email-example

Lottery/sweepstakes

People receive messages informing them that they have won a lottery or sweepstakes, but in order to claim the winnings, they need to pay taxes first. Once the money is received and sent off there is usually nothing else heard from these scammers again.

Uber/Lyft

There are some websites out there claiming you can become an Uber or Lyft driver with very little effort. The site promises all you need to do is download some software that will give you access to rides, passengers, and more as you “work” on your own time as long as you meet certain criteria; however, after signing up for this software users will learn it does not exist and the only ones making money are the website owners.

Cryptocurrency

A recently popular way to scam people is through cryptocurrency or digital currency used for electronic purchases and transfers. Because cryptocurrencies can be difficult to understand and use scammers have been able to charge people a lot of money for services such as mining (creating) coins which do not actually happen.

Finally, there are many email scams out there claiming you can earn large amounts of money by applying for positions with big companies or opening your own business in an industry that typically isn’t available in your area or typically requires a license you don’t have. After receiving a job offer requiring a resume and additional fees they’ll send quite a few emails asking for more resumes and other documents while trying to get you to pay for their services. Many of the companies sending these emails are fake and don’t actually exist while others will charge a fee but not actually hire you for anything.

What to do if you fall victim to a Telstra internet scam?

In case you have been contacted by a scammer, remember not to panic! Remain calm and try to talk with them as long as possible – All this time you are wasting is something that scammers do not have enough of. If they know you are suspicious of them already they will stop messaging or calling within minutes/hours (depending on how risky their actions are) since they don’t want to get caught. The longer you keep them talking the higher chance there is for someone else to find out about their activity before it’s too late!

If you end up sharing personal details about yourself (such as credit card numbers, social security number, address, birth date…) to a scammer, there isn’t much you can do. In this case, it’s best if you:

  1. Contact the police and report the incident as soon as possible.
  2. Report the matter to Scamwatch.
  3. You will need to call the bank to freeze all your cards and accounts.
  4. Get in touch with a local computer technician near you to assess the situation.