Scammers dressing up as Telstra workers

Scammers dressing up as Telstra workers

Summary: Telstra has warned customers across Australia to beware of fraudsters posing as Telstra staff as well as hoax e-mails seeking financial data.


Telstra has warned customers across Australia to beware of fraudsters posing as Telstra staff as well as hoax e-mails seeking financial data.

Telstra has been "inundated" by calls from customers, predominantly from regional New South Wales, regarding door knockers posing as employees of the telco.

"We've sent all our area managers some advice to share with customers. We've been inundated with several hoaxes and several door knocker complaints," a Telstra spokesperson said.

"It seems to be concentrated in some regional areas. New South Wales has had lots of feedback but that could be due to the number of people from the state," he added.

According to the spokesperson, threats to customer security typically spike during the beginning of the year, although the telco does not know why the trend occurs.

In the letter to customers, Telstra explained that it does outsource its door knockers, and reminds customers that all staff are given Telstra identification cards, which customers should check.

"There is also our Sales Watch Hotline if there are any concerns and to help identify if it's a genuine Telstra person," the telco's spokesperson said.

Telstra customers are also being targeted in phishing campaigns with numerous cases of fake e-mails being reported by customers. Telstra does communicate with its customers by e-mail, but it says that attachments are only sent on special occasions.

"We do communicate with clients by e-mail. That always includes the full company name and ABN (Australian Business Number). We also ask customers to log in to the Mybigpond secure Web page," the spokesperson said. "We never ask customers to send confidential e-mails, we don't include links to download and only include attachments if there is a strong reason to explain why," he added.

However a more pressing problem, according to the telco, is that customers are being called by fraudsters in overseas call centres who are also seeking financial and identity information.

"It's something which spikes every couple of years but we haven't seen this level of complaints for well over a year," the spokesperson said.

"We suspect these calls are coming from outside Australia. The vast majority are from international call centres. A dead giveaway [for a fraudulent caller] is when people claim they are from Telecom Australia. Some of them haven't clicked that we changed our name to Telstra a few years ago."

Topics: Telcos, Malware, Security, Telstra, IT Employment

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • First one to make a joke...

    about the crook posing as a CEO wins a prize...
  • Sol

    I was going to have a go at the prize, but I'm too busy trying to keep El Sol's hand off my wallett.
  • Amateur Week

    Good one, Telstra spokesperson!
    All you've done is help the scammers refine their techniques by telling them where their weaknesses are.
    All that is missing is a high res image of a Telstra ID card so that "customers" know how to distinguish the real thing.
  • who is scamming who?

    And I thought the scammers were the real Telstra workers because the real Telstra workers are too busy running their own private businesses from the Telstra premises.
  • What Businesses?

    What Telstra workers are running what businesses?
    That is a very intriguing comment. Please elaborate.
    This will no doubt turn this thread into nothing more than a gossip column, but I'm interested to hear the scandal... as completely off topic as it is.
  • Besot with brain fade!

    An ex Telstra employee told me that when working for Telstra you never look out the window in the morning so that you have something to look forward to in the afternoon.

    No wonder they are going into business for themselves in the luxury of a fully serviced Telstra office. Because they can.
  • Settle, Petal........

    Why pick on the Telstra workers? They are just ordinary people doing a difficult job with fewer and fewer workmates to help them. Save your anger and bigotry for where it is deserved.
  • Whats the news here?

    Scammers dressing up as Telstra workers... isn't that just normal business at Telstra?
  • You sound like a scammer yourself

    Care to back up your statement with real proof? Probably not considering you don't even have the guts to put your name down. Lay off the Telstra staff.. they're doing the best they can with the limited resources at their disposal. Save your sarcasm for Sol and his fatcats.
  • sol scammers

    Thought Soul Man sacked most employees to raise share price for Howards end game.Perhaps they are 3g evanglists hehe to see if they converted from CDMA.Fat chance here,hangs on to me CDMA for as long as I can.

    Wayne Bunbury WA
  • Re: whats the news here

    Thanks for the insightful and obviously very intelligent comment Carl.
  • Re: whats the news here

    Obviously you can't tell that was a little joke. Lighten up!
  • Bigpond is just a scam

    Bigpond is a scam in itself.
    Who in their right minds pay for their 600mb ADSL2+ plans?. Telstra/Bigpond you are a complete basket case. And Sol you have been ripping off people for way to long.
    I dont know how some people can support Telstra. Oh and thanks for giving me and plenty of other people the sack as well. You can shove your anti competative corperation right up your brown spot. I never recommend Telstra to anyone now. You are a complete scum Sol.

    Thank for nothing.
  • Do the math. As Sol would say.

    You Anti -Telstra Brigade are certain losers. Not only that, you are in an uncontrollable fantasy world of delusions if you believe your own ramshackle rants.

    For the real story keep an eye out tomorrow for the half yearly report from Telstra. Perhaps it will be your good fortune to be jolted into reality.
  • Cause and effect.

    Anonymous it is plainly obvious why you were sacked from Telstra. Who, in their right mind, would want to employ a person with you attitude.
  • Re: what's the news here

    Au contraire`!

    I can tell you are one big joke Carl - LOL!
  • 10 years of employment!

    I was employed at Telstra 10 years as a technician. I enjoyed my Job and I did it well. After 10 years of my loyal services to Telstra and I get the boot from them OF COURS MY ATTITUED IS GOING TO CHANGE! You must feel the need to kiss Sols a*rse Sydney. Because I sure as hell like to give his a damn good flogging.
  • A few years?

    "Some of them haven't clicked that we changed our name to Telstra a few years ago."

    A few years? IIRC it was in 1996.
  • Re: 10 years

    Dear Anon. I truly empathise and suggest that the treatment you received, particularly after 10 years, isn't acceptable. Sadly however, redundancies simply appear to be the easy option for Management everywhere!

    Not trying to justify Telstras decision, but regardless of origins, Telstra has been sold and is now trying to operate as a private company, but under duress of regulations, which nearly all other companies do not have. As such, I believe the redundancy scenario you outline is 'part' of the unfortunate downside to regulated competition!

    Its something which hasn't really been touched upon too much, but with more and more competition to Telstra, Telstra will in turn have its market share reduced and therefore require less staff. Under normal business circumstances and true competition, this wouldnt be quite as bad, as it can then lead to employment opportunities elsewhere, with other growing and competing companies. But whilst ever competitors can simply access Telstras network and re-sell Telstra product as their own, competitors have no need or incentive to invest and/or employ but minimal staff, whilst Telstra reduces staff. Double whammy!

    Perhaps if the regulatory concessions competitors receive had been gradually phased out over the 10 year period they have been operating, instead of being actively promoted, by having regulated access prices continually decreased, then more investment would have subsequently followed and *just maybe these distasteful redundancy decisions may not have been required or employment elsewhere in the sector more readily available*!
  • Ho hum

    Ok so we have a very profitable company that provides services at minimal levels. Bravo.

    That's the original scam uncle Scrooge.

    Still yearning for someone who can think beyond just making money.