Now more than ever, as we tackle a global pandemic, mobile technology has helped us to stay connected with friends and family, be productive and enjoy many of our hobbies, all from the comfort of our homes. We are able to do all the necessities with the click of a button, including banking and grocery shopping. This also means that we must remain alert to unwanted and uninvited scam material. With increased mobile and device use, scammers have more opportunities to get your attention. Don’t be fooled by their tactics.

What is a scam?

You can receive a scam in multiple forms - by text message, phone call, email or via social media. Scam messages and calls might appear to be urgent in an attempt to quickly access your personal details.

So far in 2022 there have been more than 39,000 scam reports made nationally to the ACCC’s Scamwatch website, with the highest number of reports coming from people aged over 65. More than $72million has been lost to scams this year already. Consumer and Business Services (CBS) offers the following advice to help you recognise and avoid scams.

How do you know if you’ve received a scam?

It can sometimes be difficult to tell whether the message you’ve received is legitimate or a scam. Pay attention to calls or texts that offer you deals that sound too good to be true and messages from people posing as financial providers asking for your bank details. Often the misspelling of words and unusual phone numbers are indications of a scam.

What should you do if you think you’ve received a scam?

Don’t panic. There are ways to ensure you aren’t impacted by a scam.

  1. Don’t click on any links within the message
  2. Don’t provide any personal information
  3. Delete the scam immediately and block the scammer’s number
  4. Report the scam to Scamwatch.

If you realise you’ve already clicked on a scam link or you’ve provided personal or banking information to someone you believe is a scammer, contact your bank as quickly as possible to ensure your accounts are secure.

How can you prevent receiving a scam message again?

There is no one solution to eliminate scams forever, but there are ways you can reduce the risk of receiving and falling victim to a scam.

  • Update your software when prompted: Your device will try its best to eliminate spam, so to give your device the best chance of doing so make sure you keep it up to date with the latest software.
  • Secure your devices with a password: Password protection is greatest when the password you choose isn’t easy to guess and is updated often. Use a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as a mix of numbers, letters and symbols. Remember to keep all your passwords to yourself.
  • Don’t open suspicious messages: If you see a number or details you’re not familiar with, then the chances are the message is spam. Do an internet search of the person’s details to check if they are who they say they are. If the details don’t match up, delete the message immediately.
  • Let unusual numbers go to voicemail: If they leave their details, you can check if that person is who they say they are by doing an internet search. Contact the organisation they claim to represent, but only use contact information you’ve obtained from a legitimate source rather than any contact information they give you in their message.

More information

For more tips see the Mobile phones and tablets brochure by CBS.