Phone and text message scams: the latest tricks and how to protect yourself #nigeria | #nigeriascams | #lovescams


When it comes to scams, it can feel like you’re under daily attack.

Unfortunately it’s unlikely to stop any time soon, with fake calls and texts from so-called authorities you’re supposed to trust now a regular occurrence.

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New data from the ACCC shows lost a record $95 million scams in the month of March, the greatest monthly amount on Scamwatch’s record.

Mobile app scams accounted for around 68 per cent of all losses for the month, while phone scams accounted for 37 per cent of reported scams.

“We are all being targeted by scams,” says tech commentator Geoff Quattromani.

Report scam calls, text messages and emails. Credit: Tero Vesalainen/Getty Images/iStockphoto

“Whether it’s by SMS, email or phone calls, you almost can’t escape a scam at the moment.

“What we’re seeing too much of these days is people purporting to be companies that we trust, whether it’s the NBN, banks, Australia Post and others, where they can perfectly represent those companies and we simply believe what we’re hearing.”

Types of scams

One of the most common examples of this are parcel delivery scams, here a text is sent asking you to click on a link which turns out to be malicious software.

When it comes to the NBN, Scamwatch saw 6,458 reports across Australia last year, resulting in losses of over $1.4 million.

An example of scam text messages being received. Credit: Sunrise

“Scammers will call you, they’ll pretend there’s a problem with your NBN, (and) if you don’t do something you’re going to be disconnected immediately,” explains Delia Rickard from the ACCC.

Preventing scams

Well some big companies are already working to prevent these scams affecting their customers.

Westpac recently started automatically blocking customer payments to overseas retailers that are deemed to be a high risk for scam activity, and notifying customers by text message.

It’s then up to the customer to call the bank if they want to go ahead with the purchase.

Telstra has also introduced a scam filter after receiving 11,000 complaints from customers in 2021, totalling more than $60 million in losses.

Telstra introduced a scam filter after complaints from customers.
Telstra introduced a scam filter after complaints from customers. Credit: Sunrise

“We’ve been doing a pilot inside Telstra over the past few months with 2,500 of our own staff to really fine tune that filter,” says Narelle Devine from Telstra.

While these filters are helpful, they’re not foolproof – and we’re being warned to always be on the lookout for potential scams.

  • Avoid clicking on any links via unsolicited text message and email
  • Look out for spelling and grammatical errors, these can often suggest the message is a scam
  • Independently go to the website of the source trying to contact you
  • Be cautious about unsolicited phone calls or emails with investment offers or prizes
  • Be particularly careful if the caller becomes forceful or orders you to do something

“That’s always going to be the biggest alarm bell, when they start to say, you not only need something urgently, but you also need to hand over your details,” says Quattromani.

What can you do?

There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from scams.

  1. Add your phone number to the ‘Do Not Call’ register
  2. Answer the phone and asked to be removed from any list you may be on
  3. Block the number – click here to find out how on your device
  4. Get anti-virus software – free software like Avast can limit the impact on your device if you download malware
  5. Report it to the ACCC’s Scamwatch site



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