Dealing with spam, scams and malware

Sadly, we are all used to getting unsolicited messages or calls – spam- on our phones and it is annoying.

Spam is not just annoying it is unlawful and you can report spam to the ACMA

And when the spam you receive is also from a scammer or contains malware it can be dangerous and result in a significant financial loss.

In 2018 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) reported that total losses from scams in 2018 were $489 million, a $149 million increase on the previous year . With many scams being conducted on telecommunications networks, the telecommunications industry is determined to be part of the solution and AMTA is currently working with Government and regulators to combat scams.

You can report scams to the ACCC.

Most of us install anti-virus software on our home PCs and devices as a matter of course. It may be time to evaluate if you should install similar anti-virus software on your smartphone.

And  always be wary of suspicious emails or messages received on your smartphone.

When in doubt, delete!

Here are our tips for dealing with spam, scam and malware:

Be wary of:

  • Emails, messages or calls from people you do not know. It is best to ignore and/or delete them.
  • Unexpected phone calls – even if the caller claims to be from your bank or service provider, never supply personal details over the phone unless you initiated the call.
  • Messages or emails that claim to be from your bank, mobile service provider, the ATO,  or ones that say you have won a prize or the lottery. Do not click on any links or attachments provided, instead delete. If you are worried, simply contact whoever the message claims to be directly by a number you know is theirs (not always the number provided in the message).

Other useful tips and hints:

  • Never supply personal details such as passwords, PIN numbers, bank account or credit card details in response to any email or text message you receive on your phone without first checking the legitimacy of the request.
  • Don’t install apps or software on your mobile phone unless they are from a trusted source. Be especially wary of apps or software attached to an SMS or email that you were not expecting to receive. And avoid unauthorised or “pirated” copies of software.
  • Familiarise yourself with the security functions of your mobile and use them and consider installing anti-virus software on your smartphone if you think you may potentially be at risk.