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Level 3: Gumshoe

3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

I usually dont have my home phone plugged in and Ive been checking my call log on my modem and noticed many strange numbers calling me over the last few weeks that I've been having internet issues. When I google these numbers I see they are reported as being fake Telstra Technicians that try to get info out of you when you answer, this was even confirmed by a Telstra admin on a Telstra forum post from another customer I read . I remember answering one of these numbers  0256392798 two days ago and I hung up because I just thought it was telemarketers because I could hear the call centre in the background. That is just one of the numbers that keeps trying to call that is reportedly dodgy.
I'm thinking with all our phones now hooked through the router/modem since the intro of NBN. Hackers are using some sort of DDOS attack to cause dropouts then calling those people to offer support. And since you are experiencing problems it makes it easier for you to believe they are indeed from Telstra.

Has anyone else experienced this? And is Telstra aware of this and not telling us?

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23 REPLIES 23
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Level 23: Superhero

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

Hello
You may wish to contact Telstra's Unwelcome Caĺls Department who deal with these issues
1800 805996
If I have helped you, a "Like" would be appreciated.

If my advice is a solution, please acknowledge it.

I'm not a Telstra employee.
50 + years exp. in radio comms., eg mobile phones since 1963, two-way radios, base stations, antennas & pagers. Expert in current Telstra Go repeaters & smart antennas.
"Being 75 years of age, entitles one to be an expert at everything!!"
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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

I just noticed my modem light was blue (incoming call), so I quickly plugged my phone in and answered it this time but they hung up when I said Hello. I could hear the call centre in the background. I checked the call log on my modem & it's the same number. I also noticed that when I did *10# after missing a call from the same number earlier, it said my last unanswered call was from + then just a random endless set of numbers.

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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

I don't have my phone plugged in because of telemarketers anyway. I'm more concerned that these calls seem to be coming at the same time as dropouts so that they can scam you. Like first they DDOS attack your isp address to cause the drop of your connection, then ring you a few minutes later to scam you.
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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

I've had 2 NBN tech visits cancel. The first week because they tested the line and found no issue so decided they didn't need to come to my house. The second week after being told it had to be escalated to the NBN again, they found a "loose connection in a pillar" in the morning before coming to my house, but never called me to let me know and I waited all day for them to show. I've had a stability profile applied which made things worse, so I asked to have it removed a week later with alot of hassle. I've had 3 promised call backs that never came from support. A case manager assigned to my ticket when I made a complaint, who also was supposed to call me but I never heard from them either.
I'm sick of going around in circles & am at the point where I don't even want to call anymore just to go through all the stress again of support telling me the issue is probably on my end, and test this and plug in that, then escalating it to the NBN for a third time only to have the NBN say they found the problem and it's fixed when it's not. Now I'm just wondering if these scam calls are something to do with it because I'm left to look for answers myself.
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Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

It is probably a coincidence that the scam calls occur at the same time as you are having problems with internet connection. A DOS attack is normally carried out against a server using malicious software installed on many computers that generates a large amount traffic causing the server to crash.

 

The drops in your internet connection is more likely to be a line fault . If you have an FTTN/B  any problems with the link will show up in  the DSL Diagnostics.

 

Telstra Gateway Max TG799 and Telstra Gateway Max II (TG800)
http://10.0.0.138 > advance > broadband > DSL Dignostics

 

Telstra Gateway Frontier (DJN2130) and Telstra Smart Modem (DJA0230)
http://192.168.0.1 > Advanced > Broadband > DSL Diagnostics

 

Telstra Gateway (Sagemcom F@st 5355)
http://10.0.0.138 > Advanced > Gateway Settings > Dev Info > Stats > WAN Layer 1 - xDSL  Password is admin

 

Look for Link retrain counts or Resynchronisations

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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

Would you be able to tell me if these stats look ok. I've read elsewhere that high attenuation and low noise maargin could cause an unstable connection.
This is what it looks like when I have the speed I'm supposed to get. I will post another pic of what it looks like after my next dropout and my speeds are usually slower as a result.

 

 

 

 

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Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

Those stats look OK. Unless there is a drop out problem and a stability profile has been applied to your line the speed of the connection is adjusted to give a minimum Signal to noise margin of 6 DB. If a stability profile has been applied the Signal to Noise Margin is adjusted to a minimum of 12 DB. The line attenuation depends on distance from node, physical properties of cable and faults. Your attenuation stats looks OK.

 

The DSL Diagnostics tab will give an indication of line faults that are causing drop outs. Theoretically there should be no errors but even on a good connection there are usual FEC errors and there might be a few CRC. ES and SES. If the link drops completely there will be a Link retrain count.

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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

I just answered a call from the same number and I played along this time. I could here a loud call centre in the background and he was very unprofessional sounding and not as polite as regular Telstra support. And everytime I gave an answer he kept repeating it and saying "Is that correct" like he was making notes. Little did he know so was I.
He said he was "Steve" from Telstra and he was a Telstra technician. He told me he was aware of my internet having dropout and speed issues. I said "Ok". Then he asked me what devices I had connected to the intenet. .I said "all my devices go through it. I use it for everything". He said "can you go to your computer?" & I said "I'm already on it." Then he asked me "what do I see on the screen?" I said "just the desktop." He said "Do you see icons on the side?" I said yes.
Then he asked me "Do you see the key at the bottom left of your keyboard." I said "yeah you mean the control key?"
He said "Yes, what is on the key next to it?" Then I just stalled him and played dumb because I knew all along he was trying to get the model of my computer and then probably move on to asking me to download something to give him access to my computer for him to "fix" or get me to type in some sort of command.
I just said "Why does the key next to it matter?" and he just sounded confused and asked me to tell him what was written on it. I said "I don't know it's just a key" and he said "So there's nothing on it? Is there a logo of any kind". I said "No it's just a button". He again asked "So there's no logo on it of any kind?" I answered "No".
He was getting confused and agitated by this stage and said "Ahhhh, OK, umm just hang on a second". I said "OK" and then the line went quiet, but no hold music. Then a couple minutes later he hung up because I'm guessing he was told to because they knew I was on to them.
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Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

Ii definitely sounds like a scam call. I used to get a lot of calls like that even though I have no problems with the internet or any of my devices. I used to play along but know I just tell them straight off that I don't believe they are genuine and hang up.
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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

I really don't think this is a coincidence that I've been having dropouts and recieveing these calls, especially now that they have said they said they are aware I'm having issues.
I just recieved another call this time from a woman. She said she was a Telstra technician asked the same questions but when I wouldnt answer what logo was on the key she reassured me that she wasn't a "scammer" I said "Ok" then she said that they had already uploaded something to my device to monitor my connection and that they have noticed I have probably been having connection issues when streaming movies (which I don't do), or playing games etc. They just need my help to fix the issues by opening the program on my computer. Then when I said "so you've already installed it on my device?" she said "yes just let me transfer you to my supervisor technician"
He then asked the same questions and wanted to know what was on the button next to the control key. Then I hung up. He rang me straight back and said loudly "Sir why are you wasting my time?" I said "Sorry the line must've gotten disconnected. He said "oh ok, then can you tell me what is on the key" I hung up again. Then he rang back and started yelling "You keep wasting my time. Why are you wasting my time?, Who has told you that Telstra doesn't call people because they are lying. Telstra is actually two seperate departments and we are just trying to help you." He kept yelling over the top of me when I was saying look I know you're a scammer, and he started swearing at me calling me a F'n idiot and I will keep having these calls if I don't let them fix the problem now. Then I said "so now you're threatening me Telstra doesn't speak to their customers the way you have been speaking to me, I know because Ive been on the phone with them for the last 3 weeks." He just kept yelling that I was an F'n idiot. I didn't have a whistle handy but figuring he probably had a headset on I yelled as loud as I could "You're the one wasting my time, you called me. I didn't call you. I know you're a scammer "
Then he just kept caling me an idiot, a little quieter this time like he had to remove his headset because his ears hurt. Then he hung up and hasn't called back since.
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Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

Hi @SinNombre

 

As @cf4 advised, this definitely sounds like a scam call. You can report this matter directly at http://tel.st/lflgj

 

For more information about how you can verify it is us calling please click the following link http://tel.st/fnwum

 

We also have some information regarding call barring and nuisance calls at http://tel.st/pwbs2

 

As long as you didn't allow access to your computer, all should be good, but we always recommend keeping your anti-virus software up to date and running regular scans. 

 

Please don't hesitate to contact us again.

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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

What I also found hilarious was when I called him out for being a scammer he said "Why didn't you just let me know. You have been wasting my time."
Like I was supposed to help the scammers out and say "Sorry, just to let you know I know you're a scammer, so I don't want to waste your precious time. You can move on to the next person now, who might be more vulnerable."
Lol.
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Technical Support
Technical Support

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

@SinNombre when you are free, you might want to give our Unwelcome Calls team a ring and they can add some number blocking for you. Also, at the risk of sounding like a 'lecture', please don't engage the scammers with any conversation. Just terminate their calls. It's a numbers game for them, and the more people they call, the more chance they have. Have a look at the reports on the Government's www.scamwatch.gov.au site at their more common call 'themes'. If you don't want to call us regarding adding some number blocking, we also have a handset available called the "Call Guardian". So, if you were to want to plug a phone back in, this phone can basically let you choose who you talk to. https://www.telstra.com.au/home-phone/handsets Other customers just use an answering machine to screen calls and only pick up calls from known callers. Also, if you are still having troubles with your internet, please continue to report it to us so we can help. Hope this is of some assistance.

____________________

I am a member of the Telstra Unwelcome Calls Team.
If you would like to contact us online: https://say.telstra.com.au/customer/general/forms/UNWELCOME-CALLS-INITIAL-ENQUIRY-FORM."

Need help? Check out our Community Wiki
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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

I've never engaged with a scam caller in the past and have always hung up at the sound of a call centre because of telemarketers. But with all the calls I've been getting lateley and thinking that they may be the cause of my dropouts I decided I'd had enough & wanted to get info on who was calling me. The same people have been calling me for weeks even though I've never had my phone plugged in. I just knew they were calling when I checked my call log on the modem. Why would they continue harassing someone that wasn't answering if it's a numbers game for them? wouldn't they just move on to another number?
Also if it's a numbers game for them, terminating the call instantly just helps them move on to someone else sooner. I have no intention of answering another one of those calls now anyway, because even though I couldn't care less about wasting their time, it's a waste of my time.
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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

I've been getting up to 5 scam calls a day, every day.
Today was the first day in weeks I received 0 scam calls from those phone numbers, and 0 dropouts. Too much of a coincidence for me. There has to be some sort of a connection.
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Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

I get these scam calls all the time (like many others do) and never experience dropouts. The dropouts are purely coincidental as they can't be caused by the incoming call.
Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

Could the dropouts be caused by the incoming call if there is alot of noise on the line?
Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

In the old days of dialup internet this used to happen if call waiting was enabled.

It is also possible with a ADSL connection if there was a fault on the line.

With a FTTN connection the only way this could happen is if your modem is faulty and there is 

cross talk between the DSL port and the green phone port resulting in the ringer current introducing noise into the VDSL signal. It could also happen if the green phone port is connected to a phone socket that is not isolated from the phone socket used for the FTTN connection.

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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

 
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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

I'm telling you this is no coincidence. For a couple of weeks the scam calls stopped and I had my normal connection speed & maybe 1 dropout a day. However the last couple of days the speeds started getting steadily worse after each dropout & today the upload speed is barely registering and the down speed has dropped by 30mbps. While I was on Telstra chat on my mobile trying to report the problem I received a call from 016137589288 on my home phone and assumed it was the support team but it was the scammers again. They are back at the same time as the connection issues to "help me fix my problem". The person on chat said it wasn't them calling. There has to be a link and I'm sick of being told it's a coincidence. A security breach in Telstra's chat so scammers know when people are having issues or something else. Look into it.
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Level 21: Augmented

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

I cannot give you a definitive answer... There could be something new that we do not know... But I still agree with other posts, that these SPAM calls cannot be responsible for your dropouts...
DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Telstra or any other ISP. I never did. I have wealth of practical knowledge in Computer Security and Forensic Computing. I have been in the field since 1985.

Likes (formerly Kudos) and solutions are appreciated!!!
The comments expressed by me reflect my user experience and personal opinion.
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Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

Assuming that this is definitely related to the scam calls would be ignoring a possible resolution if there is a fault in the network.

 

Tech Support will be able to test your service and identify if there is an issue that needs to be investigated.

 

Scam callers use an auto-dialler to randomly generate numbers. Once a call has been answered once, they will sell/share that number to others. I do not believe that they are likely to coincide their calls with a DDOS attack, as this would be far too much effort for too little gain.

 

One thing that I would suggest testing is calling your home number (it should appear on your bill or when you log into https://tel.st/tlxtq) and see if the connection drops out when you call your number. If it does, try returning the modem to factory default settings and see if the issue continues, as Tech Support will organise a replacement modem for you.

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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: 3 weeks of trying to fix drop outs. Possible scam calls the cause?

I never wanted to assume that it was related to scam calls, but since Telstra & the NBN failed to find or fix the fault after 5 technician bookings I was left looking for answers myself. The latest booking was made before xmas, canceled then remade for the 3rd of Jan because my connection had started dropping 30 times a day & the upspeed was 0.5 Mbps. Finally after much hassle the tech never came to my house again yesterday but I recieved a message on twitter from Telstra saying my fault had been "updated to show that NBN Co have attended and made repairs to the network." Since 3pm yesterday now, all is finally back to normal with no dropouts. I did say I will be monitoring it for a while yet before I'm satisfied it was fixed.

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