|Common telephone scams reported to Telstra include scammers who falsely claim to represent Telstra, asking for remote access to a consumers' home computer, and scammers telling consumers their home phone will be disconnected if they don't pay a fee.|
In both cases, scammers are trying access a person's identity, and in particular their personal banking details, with the Call Guardian 301 home phone seeking to combat this by asking unknown callers to announce their name prior to being connected.
The Call Guardian 301 can store up to 1,000 numbers, allowing the calls of friends and family to get straight through via a contact list, with customers able to decide whether to block a call or send it through to the answering machine.
"We know unwanted calls can be very frustrating for our customers," Telstra director of fixed voice and platinum services Jennifer Douglas commented. "From scammers offering to 'repair' the family PC to salespeople calling just when you've settled down in front of the TV, they can be an unwelcome intrusion.
"We already do a lot of work in arming our customers with the information that can help them distinguish scammers from genuine callers. Now customers can have their very own tool to block unwanted calls."
In 2015 thus far, Telstra notes that customers in New South Wales have made 1,734 reports about telephone scams, followed by Victoria (758), Queensland (737), Western Australia (371), South Australia (217), Tasmania (48), the Northern Territory (27) and the ACT (21).
Telstra offers the following tips on how to avoid telephone 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 software.
- If your alarm bells are ringing or you think something is not quite right, just hang up.