Scams and Hoaxes
Scammers use a wide variety of methods to impersonate legitimate businesses and organisations personal and private information. Known as phishing, these scam websites, emails and text messages can be difficult to spot. Try to look out for incorrect spelling and grammar, and poor layout, imagery and styling. For more information, head to the Scamwatch website.
Please note that due to the volume of reports received, our Security Team is not able to respond to all reports. You will only be contacted in the event that we believe that your account has been compromised and action is needed to re-secure your account.
What to do if you receive suspicious correspondence or calls claiming to be from iiNet
If you receive a call, letter, email, text message or other communication that claims to be from iiNet and you suspect it may be a scam or hoax, give us a call on 13 22 58.
Scam Emails and Text Messages
If you receive an email or text message that is unknown, unsolicited or you suspect to be fraudulent including messages with a one-time code that you didn’t initiate, this is what we advise:
- Don’t reply to the SMS or email
- Don’t provide any personal details
- Don’t click on any links
- Don’t open any attachments
- Don’t call any numbers associated with the SMS or email
- Don’t share any content of the SMS or email with anyone
- Report the email or SMS to Scamwatch
- Forward the email as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Learn how to forward an email as an attachment.
Scam Phone Calls
iiNet only calls our customers from selected numbers. If you receive a phone call that you suspect is fraudulent, this is what we advise:
- Don’t give the caller any personal details and hang up
- Check that the call is coming from a number that’s not a number that we use.
- Block the caller/sender’s number using your phone’s built-in call rejection features or by downloading an app to restrict incoming calls and messages.
- Let the call go to voicemail and then listen to any message left to ascertain if this might be a genuine call. For more information on how to set up and manage voicemail, head to our support page.
- Report the call to Scamwatch
- Report the email or SMS to Scamwatch
Latest known scams
“Hi mum” scam
Some of our customers have reported receiving WhatsApp or text messages from scammers alleging to be children in need of funds. The scammers are targeting parents and the messages generally start by claiming the child has lost or broken their phone, or it has been stolen so they insist the parent does not contact them on their old number. The messages will then develop into the scammer requesting money for things like bills or emergency funds as they have been locked out of their internet banking accounts.
If you receive an SMS or WhatsApp message from an unknown number asking for money or claiming to be a loved one, do not transfer any funds. If you are ever unsure of the legitimacy of a message, it’s always best to pick up the phone and contact the sender to be sure.
If you receive any SMS relating to this scam, please report it to Scamwatch.
NBN Co Robocaller Scam
Some customers have reported receiving a call with a recorded message claiming to be NBNCo, telling the customer that their account will be terminated.
If you receive a call like this:
- Do not confirm any personal information to the caller.
- Hang up the phone.
- Report the call to Scamwatch.
In the event of any legitimate service disconnections, you will receive at least 30 days' written notice from us.
For more scam and hoax information, monitor the Scamwatch website.
You may have recently received an SMS message, claiming that you have had a missed call or voicemail. These messages are generated by Malware called Flubot, which spreads via SMS messages and can infect customers with Android devices on any mobile network. We are aware of a variant of the Flubot message which purports to be a link from iiNet. Other versions claim to be a courier service asking the end user to install a tracking app through a link which will infect the device with malware. If a user clicks the link and installs the app, the malware will take over the device and send texts to the infected user’s contacts.
Known examples include:
- I want to send you a voicemail on Zello! Click to download.
- my86 Your service provider zas sent you a nee notice: <LINK>
- wfq5cm Voicemail: You have 1 new Voicemaill (s). Go to: <LINK>
If you receive an SMS like this:
- Do not click on the link.
- Report the SMS to Scamwatch.
- Delete the SMS a soon as possible.
It is important to point out that just because you have received the message, this does not mean your device has become infected.
If you click on the link, you will be taken to a web page that may look like a genuine site with branding that you are familiar with. You may be prompted to install an app, so you can listen to the voicemail message. If you give permission to install the app, the Flubot malware will be installed onto your device. The malware may be able to access your contacts list and access your personal information if you use your device while infected. You may also receive texts or calls from random numbers stating that you have sent them an SMS, which you will have no knowledge of.
What should you do if you have become infected?
If you have become infected, don’t enter any passwords or log into any accounts until you have cleaned your device using the below steps.
How to clean your device
Cleaning your device using the steps below will remove the malicious software from your device.
To clean your device, you can:
- contact an IT professional
- download official Android anti-virus software through the Google Play Store
- perform a factory reset of the device.
Performing a factory reset of your device will delete all of your data including photos, messages, and authentication applications.
At this time Apple devices are not affected, but we are aware that customers with Apple devices have been also receiving these Flubot messages.
For more information, head to the Scamwatch website.
Unfortunately, during these difficult times it is business as usual for fraudsters and scammers who are using the spread of COVID-19 to take advantage of people across the country. These scams can include spam messages impersonating the Government or the ATO, and there has also been an emergence of scams related to people’s superannuation.
You can find lots of useful information regarding the latest COVID-19 scams on the Scamwatch page.
If you receive any emails or messages that you think are suspicious, please report them to Scamwatch here.
COVID-19 SMS Scam
Some of our customers have reported receiving an SMS from a source claiming to be the ‘Australian Government Department of Health’ stating that ‘You’ve received a new message regarding the COVID-19 safetyline symptoms and when to get tested in your geographical area’.
This SMS contains a link to a fake government website.
This SMS was not sent by the Australian Government Department of Health. Please do not click on any link or reply to the SMS.
If you receive this SMS, please follow the below directions:
- Don’t reply to the SMS
- Don’t click on any links/attachments
- Report the email to Scamwatch
Wangiri Fraud (missed call scam)
Wangiri fraud is when you receive missed calls from international numbers you don’t recognise on either a mobile or a fixed-line phone. The fraudsters generating the missed calls hope that their expensive international numbers will be called back so that they can profit. This type of fraud is not specific to iiNet and appears to be on the rise.
If you receive calls like this, be assured that you haven’t been specifically targeted. It’s likely that the fraudster has generated a missed call to a whole range of mobile numbers that happens to include yours.
What should you do if you get a suspected Wangiri call?
We recommend that you don’t return calls to international numbers that you don’t recognise. Calls to Wangiri numbers will often result in a charge being incurred and only encourages the fraudster to generate more missed calls to customers who choose to call back.
- Do not answer a call from an overseas number unless you recognise the number or are expecting the call.
- Do not return a call to an overseas number unless you recognise it.
- Do not give out any personal or business information such as banking or credit card details, pin numbers, birth dates or personal names and addresses.
What’s being done to address this issue?
We proactively monitor our network for Wangiri activity and shut down new fraudulent international numbers and number ranges as we find them.
This is an issue affecting customers of mobile and fixed line operators around the globe, and we’re working with a number of different operators and industry groups to reduce Wangiri fraud levels.
SMS Phishing Scam
Some of our customers have reported receiving an SMS claiming to be from iiNet, asking them to verify personal information. The message states you have ‘been selected as one of our lucky winners for a brand new iPhone’ and requests for you to reply to a number with your full birth date.
This message is not sent by iiNet. Please do not reply to the message.
If you receive this message (or any other spam SMS), please follow the below directions:
- Don’t reply to the SMS
- Don’t provide any personal details
- Don’t click on any links
- Don’t call any numbers associated with the SMS
- Don’t share any content of the SMS with anyone
- Report the SMS to Scamwatch
Fake iiNet mail
iiNet are aware of an increase in falsified letters and statements from telecommunication companies. The falsified letters use the company branding to appear legitimate and will be either sent via post or email.
The letters could be either a threatening invoice, request to update details or congratulate you on winning a prize. It will ask you to call a number or visit a website to update details, pay a sum of money or claim your prize.
If you receive any mail from iiNet, whether it be paper or electronic, please ensure you do not follow any links to websites or call any numbers that are unfamiliar to you. If you receive a letter and suspect it may be a scam, please contact us on 13 22 58.
Scammers threatening Chinese communities in Australia
iiNet is aware of a scam targeting our customers in Chinese communities. The calls are in Mandarin and the scammers are often posing as Chinese authorities.
The scammer will accuse the customer of either being directly involved in a crime relating to fake passports, or a victim who has had their bank details compromised. They will threaten the customer with jail time or deportation and will request the customer pay them large sums of money to clear their name or have their issue investigated.
The scammers will try to intimidate the customer into either providing money or other personal details such as a passport number. They do this using scare tactics in hope that the customer will not ask any questions and will instead provide requested details or pay them.
Once money has been paid to scammers, it is often unable to be recovered.
If you receive a call from someone threatening you with arrest or deportation in relation to fake passports, it is a scam. Do not send any money or provide any personal details. End the call immediately and report it to Scamwatch.
For further information, including information in Chinese languages, please visit the Scamwatch website.
Browser Pop Up Scam
iiNet is aware of a current browser pop up scam that is targeting iiNet customers.
The pop up asks you to click on a link to perform certain activities such as filling out a survey or choosing a gift box to win a “prize” (such as phones, electronic devices or accessories).
The link then directs you to a payment page where it requires you to pay a small amount via credit card to redeem the “prize” or directs you to a page where you are required to enter your personal details or bank details.
iiNet will never ask you to fill out forms with personal details to win a prize. If you are browsing the web and receive this pop up, please close the browser. If you have been a victim of this scam, please visit the Scamwatch website or call us on 13 22 58.
If you see this pop-up while browsing, please do the following:
- Close the browser
- Don’t click on any links or fill in any details
- Report the website to Scamwatch
How to protect your device
Here are some ways to protect your device:
- Make sure to use strong PINs and passwords and change them regularly. Avoid easy to guess PINs and passwords like ‘1234’, ‘0000’ and ‘password’.
- Lock your mobile handset and voicemail with strong PINs.
- Think carefully before clicking on a link or opening suspicious emails and attachments.
- Pay attention to your app permissions (what your apps are allowed to do and access, e.g. location, call history, etc). Only allow necessary permissions.