Why you’re being inundated with so many scam messages?
Australia is rife with conversation about the inundation of scam text messages we have all experienced recently; but why is it happening, and what you can do about it?
Some scam text messages are easy to spot, with terrible typos and spelling or obviously fake website links that don’t fool many people, but some can trick the most savvy by appearing like legitimate communication, a particularly popular front has been that of a postal service sending tracking details to a package you’re ‘expecting’.
These types of texts have been around for a long time, but the volume of them has increased a staggering amount in the last year.
According to the Australian Government’s ScamWatch agency, as a result of these scams, Australia’s yearly losses have almost doubled to a massive $5.8 million as of August 2021.
Why have the amount of scam messages increased?
The main reason that there has been such a surge in scam messages, is because while the cheapest way to distribute scams is email, any good email service now has such efficient spam filters that they get blocked before they even hit your inbox.
Unless you have trusted third party mobile security, the SMS function of mobile phones doesn’t come with the same level of security and protection.
The second reason for the increase in text scamming, is very alarming that they are quite effective.
ScamWatch have reported that the ‘cost per incident’ rate in Australia has drastically increased, this is measured based on the amount that people are losing compared to the amount of complaints they’ve received.
The risk of such incidents however, isn’t just financial. Some scam texts are designed to infect phones with malicious software, which hands over control to the scammer.
What can I do to protect myself from these attacks?
Unfortunately, there’s no simple way to stop receiving or even reducing how many of these messages you receive, but here are some things you can do to protect yourself:
1. Stay up to date on current scams and tactics using ScamWatch
2. Review the texts you receive from numbers you aren’t familiar with with a high level of skepticism
3. Never reply to a message or click on any of the attached links
4. If the message says that it has come from an official organisation,contact the organisation directly to seek validation
5. Block the number if possible
6. Consider reporting the incident to the Australian Communications and Media Authority
7. In the event that you have been compromised, contact ScamWatch to talk through the next steps
8. If it’s possible that your bank details have been taken, get in touch with your bank immediately to change your PIN, block transaction and protect your account
9. If your password has been obtained, change it immediately on every site and service you use it for. If the issue pertains to a work device, inform your IT department to see if you, or anyone else in the business has been compromised
10. Always ensure your devices are kept up-to-date with software upgrades and patches
Does your phone need protecting? Call our Cyber Security team today!
Keep in mind that any legitimate organisation will rarely use overly casual, aggressive or threatening language in an SMS.
While these tips will likely not stop you receiving the scam SMS’s, following our advice and performing regular system updates which have been designed to keep you protected, will hopefully keep the scammers out of your devices, and keep your information safe and secure.