Scam Call - Pretending to Be from Telstra

Beware of the Telstra scam currently doing the rounds - I have had 3 calls in 3 days.

Call will appear to be from a genuine Aussie number (which it isn't) and the Indian caller will claim you have a problem with your Telstra internet modem
They then give you a license number of your modem and ask you to use the Windows cmd prompt, enter a cmd, and then point you to where the reference number is displayed. This is an attempt to convince you their call is genuine - reality is the licence/reference number is common to all Windows OS.
Now they think you believe the call is genuine they will ask you to go through several steps, which will effectively hand control of your PC to them.

Don't get sucked in.


  • +21 votes

    Thanks for posting, also worth reporting it @ Scamwatch.

  • +122 votes

    Wow, thanks for the heads up. I would have certainly trusted a cold caller with an Indian accent had it not been for your public service announcement.

  • +35 votes

    I have had this one too but mine was supposedly from Microsoft. Best thing to do is follow the directions, then ask them why there is smoke coming out of your computer and then why there is a fire, and why is your cat now on fire, I got transferred to the supervisor.

  • I still wish I could get one of these hilarious calls myself. Would be so much fun messing with these clowns.

    • +1 vote

      I got one myself a couple of months ago. I put on the same accent and started asking him questions about himself.
      That gets rid of them really quickly.

    • I get 3 a week. I tell them that they bring shame on their families. One guy who said he was from Pakistan threatened to stick an AK-47 up my rear end and pull the trigger. I think I got to him.

    • Yeah I played with one once and then after a few minutes informed them that what they were doing was illegal in Australia and that the Australian Federal Police had had enough time to track their call and if I were them I would leave whatever country they were in before the police arranged their arrest by local police… They denied they were trying to access my pc but they sounded very worried and hung up quickly.
      How to spoil someone's day!!!

    • Tried it the last 2 times, but I think I came on too strong too early.
      They hung up on me lol
      I just get so excited when I get one of these

    • Yeah I kept them on the line for 40 minutes while doing other things around the house, pretending I was going along with it. They hung up on me eventually after calling me an idiot.

      I figure that's 40 minutes that guy isn't successfully scamming someone else.

  • Good way to get back at these people …. just tell them your pc is off, and tell them you will start it up. Put them on hold, some will hang on for quite a while with the hello, hello as an indication. Keeping them hanging on stops them from scamming others, and reduces their possible income!!.

  • Yep, I have fun with them too. I tell them I am Julia Gillard and when they carry on saying I am not, I say "Well you lied first. You are not from Telstra. You're a scammer." They hang up. Haven't heard from them for a while now.

  • I got this before, they tried to get me to install TeamViewer or some other program where they can take control of the PC.

    I enjoyed toying with him.

    • As do I. I asked "which computer, I have 12 connected at the moment"

      I am happy to spend their time on me and not on someone who could possibly believe them.

  • wow thanks for the post, i always thought those calls were legit.

  • What a coincidence!

    I received an email from Nigeria earlier today, telling me that I had inherited $AU159 million, and asking for my bank account details.

    Could this possibly be a scam??

    • +18 votes

      If you need to ask the question, then no it isn't. Just comply with what they instruct and await your fortune.

    • Your uncle has died and I've been trying to get in contact. I require your bank details date of birth, tax file number and address to deposit you inheritence.

    • As long as they were contacting you from an oil-rig, it's all genuine mate.

  • yeah…this scam has been around for a long time now :
    My elderly neighbour got sucked into the scam and handed over the codes of $2000 worth of iTunes cards to the scammer….OMG!

    • that is just appalling. Just wonder why your neighbour had so many iTunes cards?

      • WTF do they do with itunes cards? Can you redeem them for something useful like cash or do the onsell them at a discount?

        • I presume they on sell them. It has been a while since I bought them last but there is usually a code associated with them to redeem them.

        • Yeah they just sell them online…all they need to do is email the code to the buyer after they get paid for them

      • because the scammer told him to go and buy them :/

      • There is a sign up at the Deli Section at one of the Woolies I go to, warning about the scam. (Cards are not near Deli, but I guess people stop and read while waiting)

    • +4 votes

      I went into my local post office to collect a parcel last week and they had a sign hanging up where you queue up warning people of the iTunes scam. It is massive.

      • +3 votes

        I'm pretty dirty that Apple has done literally nothing about the scam. Those signs are actually from the ATO who really are only name dropped in one of the scams, they are not actually involved in any way unlike Apple who are (arguably) complicit and (undeniably) actually profiting from it.

        Actually the lady in this scenario probably still has the cards and the codes. Apple is well within their capability to cancel the codes and refund her.

  • We always screen our calls with an answering machine. There are a lot of dropped calls once they get to the machine. People who know us just yell out and we pick up the phone. A "sorry not interested" is the best way to deal with people like this, stop them cold before they get started. If you can be arsed Telstra would probably like you to contact them about this mob, they might be able to do something about it.

    • I tried the 'Sorry, not interested' line and the guy had the nerve to say ' I didn't ask if you were interested or not'… I ended up disconnecting the call after that…

      • OMG - well that lets you off the polite leash. I would’ve let lose a torrent of words, most of the starting with f, and slammed down the phone.

      • hahaha I said that as i was approaching a charity sign up person on the street. She said back "how can you not be interested if i havnt even told you what I have to say?"

        "K" then continued to walk straight past

        • yeah, the chuggers are a bit of a problem. If I could just drop something in the donation bucket I probably would for a lot of them, but not interested in someone taking stuff from my bank account on a regular basis.

        • @try2bhelpful:

          Ditto here. Got asked a few times for donations on the street for pretty good charities and I said I'll pass them $100 on the spot since it's for a good cause. But they refuse and say I have to sign up their form and have money deducted from my bank account every month instead !!

          I was like no-way am I authorising anyone from the street to deduct funds from my bank account every month. Either you take the $100 or $0.

          They are apparently only going after big donations and my $100 is too measly for them :(

        • @tanfree: The company that hired them gets a cut from the Charity for every donation they sign up like that. They can go jump as far as I'm concerned. Let me donate directly to the charity and cut out the middle people.

        • @try2bhelpful:

          At ~75% I would call that the lion's share.

        • @tanfree: Isn't it illegal for charities to accept cash now? At least that's what the last doorknocker told me when I offered them coins but wouldn't sign away my bank details.

        • @Kegsta:

          Don't believe it's illegal for charities to collect cash. I've seen lots of charities at shopping malls setup a table with a donation box for people to place cash in.

          The main thing is that the collectors need to exhibit a proper charity licence to collect.

          In the city there are lots of youths who are just wearing a t-shirt with some charity logo and asking people to put their bank details on their forms. In my opinion that is just wrong.

      • Mine went a step further (supposedly microsoft telling me my internet would be disconnected if I didn't follow thier instructions). I said that I know what this is, that it is a known scam and I am hanging up now. Got a call back a couple of seconds later from the "supervisor". "I'm sorry you somehow got disconnected from my team member, so I thought I'd call back". The nerve of people that know you've already called them out and keep on trying.

    • Sorry not inyerested does not work with scammers or telemarketers currently. They just kept on talking. So I hang up.

      • I hang up immediately after I say it; I don't even let them get started. However, the call screening seems to work a lot of the time.

    • I half tempted to out a fake voicemail on the landline saying "hello… Hello… Speak up please, I can't hear you" for a couple of minutes to waste thier time.

  • should lead them around the park
    then after an hour go, "hmmm its all not working, I might need to consult my Mac manual, and checking my optus bill, it seems I don't have internet, weird…."

    • That's really close to what I did. They had my start event viewer and tried to shock my with all the warnings!

      I told them they had me hooked and they transferred to someone higher up. I strung him around until I told him my non-internet connected and sanitised virtual machine that they claimed was sending them alerts is running exceptionally well, and to kindly explain all the bullshit they've been peddling.

  • I am a Nigerian Prince with US$198 million that I need to invest in another country.
    It is because of scammers like these that no-one will ever return my emails!!!
    Makes me so angry.

  • I found this to be a fairly interesting article on the subject:

    • That is one depressing article, isn't it? No wonder Australian companies are flocking to places like India and the Phillipines, they don't need to offer these guys much, do they?

    • Thanks for sharing the article. Shows the other side of the story as well. Pretty sad I must admit.

    • They tried to scam me out of $10/month. Said they wouldn't be able to keep writing articles if I didn't pay.

    • About 10 years ago I watched a TV documentary where a married couple - both qualified doctors - started telemarketing jobs. Their parents must have wept.

    • it is quite a good read….shows the scale of this scam

  • You're getting a lot of flack for posting something that seems obvious, but this is something my elderly parents could easily fall for so thanks for the heads up. I'll let them know tonight.

    • My uncle is old and gets these calls all the time. He knows not to trust an Indian on the phone.

      Recently, he's been dealing with Telstra and they've got their own foreign Philippine call centre. He calls me up and asks, "Why is Telstra employing foreigners? I can't understand a word they're saying. I thought Telstra was supposed to be an Australian company!"

      He's smart.

      I might move him onto an Australia ISP/Phone company like Aussie Broadband or Telecube. He's had enough of these broken English foreigners.

      • Actually, most Filipino call center workers are very proficient in English. It's the Americanised accent that can be off putting, and unlike here, practically all workers there are college graduates.

        There's a reason companies are slowly relocating from India to the Philippines.

  • Should of answered and said: "Hi Campbelltown Police Station, Constable Sphincter speaking".

    • +12 votes

      If it an "overseas call" then I answer by saying…

      "the number you have called is an unlisted telephone number allocated to the Australia Federal Police and used by a member of the public under our witness protection program.
      this call has now been traced and your number relayed to your local federal police for investigation"


  • Here's reportage on the kinds of people working at those scam centres. If you're altruistic the best thing you can do is tie them up as long as possible.

    Ah Ryballs beat me to it.

  • +4 votes

    Thanks for posting OP. Though nearly all Members have sufficient awareness on these matters, we should still avoid complacency on behalf of relatives and neighbours etc.

  • Is it a scam cause someone from Telstra understands technology?

  • Had someone impersonating Telstra call my folks last year saying that their internet connection would be cut off if they didn't do the following things on the computer immediately. They said the voice was Indian and was speaking in quite an urgent voice.
    What made it more believable was that there actually was a Telstra van near by doing some work too.
    I started to think maybe target areas where maintenance vans are spotted. But then started to think how they would guess the phone number. A quick search in the recycle bin could then reveal the surname, followed by a search in the White Pages. I keep stressing to the folks to shred all letters, but they still won't do it.

    • No need to guess the phone number. It’s not hard to obtain a copy of the phone book in SQL and filter it by address.

  • They called a friend of mine recently. A retired (40 yr) testra employee. After a while of him asking all the questions, they hung up.

  • i hope you liked my accent, if you could please rate it at

  • Usually I start be telling tell them I'm don't have a PC
    and I'm not with Telstra.

    Then I tell them I don't have a landline. :+)

  • Just tell 'em you got a Windows 10 running on Pentium II PC & entice the scammer to wait for it to boot up.

    15 mins later… keep on waiting…

    Then ask him if he knows how to get rid of viruses.

    30 mins later… you just hang up abruptly. :D

  • +8 votes

    I just feel sorry for any person who works at Telstra who has an "Indian" sounding accent and has to call customers.

  • Mum nearly got scammed by the ATO version, I called her mobile while she was on the phone with them , and I could hear her telling them she was so scared and alone at home. Was about to bolt out of work to go home because she wouldn't get off the phone with them as they were threatening her not to tell anyone and that police were coming to take her to jail. She finally realised it was a scam when they were trying to force her to go to the ATM. Sick of f***** specifically targeting the elderly just to make a buck.

  • +32 votes

    I get these all the time and whenever I can (whilst I'm just sitting, working on my computer anyway) I keep them tied up for as long as I can.
    Twice now I have managed to connect to their computer. By telling them the incorrect Teamviewer password over and over they eventually ask you to connect to them which gives you control of their computer, and then ask you to do the 'switch connection' option.
    It is at this point however that I start randomly deleting files off their computer. The guys reaction on the phone was hilarious, I only wish I was recording the whole thing.

  • I’ll upvote this if I could.

    I’m in my mid 30s so not exactly a computer illiterate. I almost got sucked in til she told me to turn on my PC and do bla bla bla. That’s when I hung up.

    Yeah this scam is old school but reminder that this thing is still running is a good thing.

  • I have a friend who is retired so he has plenty of free time. He loves toying with them.

    If it is a woman he asks them what they are wearing, are you wearing underwear, are you married. Lot's of deep breathing and groaning, you get the idea.

    If it is a man, he pretends to be a police officer and want to know how they know the "murder victim", what is your name, address, mobile ph number etc. Will organise for local police to call around and take a statement. Did you have anything to do with Mr So and so's death.

    He said sometimes the banter goes on for 5 to 10 minutes before they wise up.