Telstra Unveils Common Scammer Tactics and Safety Tips

Scammers

Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and Telstra is stepping up to help Aussies stay one step ahead.

With scams on the rise, especially during specific times of the day and year, understanding their tactics is crucial to protecting yourself and loved ones.

Telstra has shared valuable insights on how scammers operate and offered tips to protect yourself from falling victim to their schemes.

How Australians Get Scammed

Australians are frequently targeted by scams, with fraudsters employing a variety of techniques to deceive unsuspecting individuals.

These scams can range from fake emails and phone calls to sophisticated social engineering tactics.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Australians lost over $2.7 billion to scams in 2023 alone, highlighting the significant financial impact of these fraudulent activities.

The true cost is likely even higher when factoring in unreported scams. The landscape is quite sad, as the people targeted are sometimes the most vulnerable Australians.

For example, Older individuals have been the most severely impacted by scammers.

In 2023, those over the age of 65 were the only age group to experience an increase in reported losses, which surged by 13.3 percent, reaching $120 million.

While all other age groups saw a decline in scam losses, older adults were disproportionately targeted, particularly by investment scams.

A significant number of these scams originated from contacts made on social media, leading to substantial financial losses.

Peak Scam Times

popular Scam Times In Australia
Source – Telstra Exchange

Telstra’s research reveals that scammers are most active during certain periods, particularly when people are likely to be distracted.

Mornings and late afternoons are prime times, as individuals are either starting their day or wrapping up, making them more susceptible to unexpected calls or messages.

Weekends are also proving to be the most busy days, with Friday and Saturday showcasing how they deliberately target Australians as they unwind.

Additionally, the end of the financial year, Christmas season, and tax time are peak periods for scam activities, with fraudsters capitalizing on the busy and sometimes stressful nature of these times.

Common Scam Tactics

Scammers use a variety of tactics to catch unsuspecting victims off guard. In particular with Australian’s, they are targeting local slang using AI, to essentially convince people they are local.

AI Scams Messages On Australian

Here are some of the most prevalent methods identified by Telstra:

  1. Phishing Emails and Texts: These messages often appear legitimate, mimicking official communications from banks, government agencies, or well-known companies. They typically contain a sense of urgency, prompting you to click on a link or provide personal information.
  2. Phone Scams: Fraudsters might call pretending to be from a trusted organization, such as the ATO or a tech support team. They use scare tactics, like claiming there’s a problem with your account or computer, to trick you into providing sensitive information or making a payment.
  3. Social Engineering: This involves manipulating individuals into divulging confidential information by exploiting their natural tendencies to trust and help others. Scammers might pose as a friend or family member in distress to gain access to your accounts.

We’ve put together previous guides on how to avoid phishing scams as well as how to watch out for SMS scams, so feel free to gives these a read for further information.

Telstra’s Anti-Scam Measures

Telstra has implemented several measures to combat these scams and protect its customers. Their “Cleaner Pipes” initiative is a significant step in this direction.

This program aims to filter out scam calls and messages before they reach customers, significantly reducing the risk of falling prey to these schemes.

According to Telstra, since the initiative’s launch, there has been a noticeable decline in the number of successful scams.

How Scammers Act

Scammers often employ psychological manipulation to exploit their victims’ emotions and trust.

They may create a sense of urgency or fear, pressuring individuals to act quickly without verifying the legitimacy of the request.

Scammers also impersonate trusted organizations or people, using convincing communication methods to lure their targets into providing personal information or making financial transactions.

There are some fantastic YouTube channels that expose how scammers think and operate. I encourage everyone to watch them, as you will learn a lot about their tactics.

You can share these videos with your loved ones, to ensure they don’t fall victim to similar scams that are currently targeting Australian’s.

Tips to Stay Safe From Scammers

Telstra offers several tips to help Aussies stay safe from scammers:

  1. Be Skeptical: Always question unexpected calls, emails, or messages, especially if they request personal information or immediate action. Verify the legitimacy of the contact by using official channels.
  2. Use Security Features: Enable two-factor authentication on your accounts and use strong, unique passwords to enhance security.
  3. Stay Informed: Keep up to date with the latest scam tactics and reports. Awareness is one of the best defenses against fraud.
  4. Report Scams: If you encounter a scam, report it to the relevant authorities and your service provider. This helps to track and combat fraudulent activities.
  5. Don’t Click on Unknown Links: Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown or unsolicited emails and messages.

By staying vigilant and adopting these precautions, you can significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to scams.

Remember, staying informed and cautious is your best defence against scammers, and we all play a part in preventing these terrible scams that impact so many.

Author

  • Michel Elijah

    Tech expert and strong interest in telco. I've worked in the tech industry for 4 years and have always had interest with mobile and internet providers.

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