‘Urgent warning’: Convincing text message scam doing the rounds

Aug 13, 2021
Source: Getty

Have you received a strange text message mentioning a missed call or voicemail recently? There’s a very good chance it was a scam.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch has issued an urgent warning to Australians, especially those with an Android device, to be on the look out for a new text message scam, urging people to delete the message immediately if received.

“URGENT WARNING: Receiving text messages that look like this from Australian numbers saying you’ve missed a call?” they wrote on Twitter. “Delete these messages immediately and do not click on the link — it’s a #scam and will download malware! We’re working with industry to #stopthescam.”

The reason why the scam is tricking so many Aussies is because it’s sent from an Australian number. Several people on Twitter have already said they’ve received the text message scam, with comedian Australian Em Rusciano tweeting: “I’ve been getting heaps of these dodgy text messages. I know I’m not alone. So I asked @Telstra and they solved the mystery!!”

According to Telstra, “if you click on the link, you will be taken to a web page displaying a trusted brand and prompted to install an app, for example to listen to the voicemail message”. If you give permission to install, the scammer will download some nasty malware to your phone.

If you have received the text message, Telstra said most popular anti-virus apps for Android will clean it up.

“As they’re coming from legit devices across the globe they’re more difficult to block than some other scams,” Telstra wrote to Rusciano. “But rest assured we are aware and working on it. While they’re still coming through, it’s great to spread awareness and make sure people are not clicking on the links.”

If you have accidentally installed the malware, the ACCC strongly advises contacting your bank as soon as possible and ensuring your accounts are secure.

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