Tips to help consumers protect their telco account from fraudsters | The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
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Tips to help consumers protect their telco account from fraudsters

When we talk about fraudulent account access, we mean any malicious activity by a third party used to gain access to a consumer’s phone or internet account and act without their authorisation.

Make your phone or internet account as secure as possible

  • Use strong passwords. Never use the same password for multiple accounts. Consider using password management software instead of storing them in text.
  • Ask your provider about the availability of extra security. One example is Multi-Factor Authentication.

Limit the amount of personal information available in the public domain

  • Put your social media on private, so personal information about you cannot be viewed by the public.
  • Lock your mailbox to reduce the chances of bills or other letters containing your personal information being stolen.

Make sure you’re really speaking with your provider

  • If someone calls you offering you a deal that seems too good to be true, consider ending the call, looking up your provider’s phone number, and calling directly to enquire about the deal.
  • Familiarise yourself with how your provider normally communicates with you, so you can know what to look out for.
    • Sometimes SMSs and emails from fraudsters may have spelling and grammar errors, unfamiliar links, or strange formatting.
    • Other times, they may look genuine and even include company logos, but may ask for information that the real company would not ask for.
    • If you’re unsure whether you are speaking to your provider, hang up and contact your provider directly. For example, most providers do not call consumers to ask for one-time codes that have been sent to the consumer.

Report any strange activity to your provider immediately


If your provider sends you a notification saying you have changed your account details or made a new order, and you did not authorise any changes, this could mean someone recently attempted to fraudulently access your account.

Contact your provider as soon as possible.

What to do if you think you’ve fallen victim to fraudulent account access

  • Report the fraud to your local police, IDCare, and your provider.
  • If money has been taken from your bank account, contact your bank.
  • If products or services have been added to your phone or internet account, contact your provider.
  • Further information about hacking, identity theft, phishing, and remote access scams can be found at the ACCC’s ScamWatch (www.scamwatch.gov.au).

Resources

Download the Consumer Tip Sheet

How we've helped other customers

Complaint
Consumer damaged a cable on their property and was being billed for the repair and the replacement of the cable.
Outcome
Bill for the repair was paid, bill for the replacement was waived.
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LineUp phone company pressured a consumer to transfer her services and continued with the process despite the consumer not agreeing.
Outcome
The transfer was cancelled and the sales process and practices or LineUp was changed as a result of our systemic investigations.
This page was last updated on
24th Nov 2021