How to tackle and reduce spam and scam SMS
What is spam?
Spam SMS takes a variety of forms but is essentially an unwanted SMS advertising goods or services. Often spam SMS is an attempt to scam the recipient.
Spam SMS might:
- Be from a number you don’t know
- Be from a company you’ve never heard of
- Try to induce you to do something such as click on a link or make a payment to somebody (which you shouldn’t do)
- Not include a method to opt-out (which is a legal requirement)
In order to receive a marketing SMS;
- You must have given your permission to the sender (unless they are a certain type of sender such as a government body or a registered political party)
- The sender’s contact details must be included in the SMS
- There must be a clear way for you to elect to stop receiving the SMS
You may also receive some marketing messages if you make your phone number public so think carefully about doing so or make it clear you do not consent to receiving marketing SMS.
How to reduce spam SMS and prevent being the subject of a scam
Protect your personal information and don’t share it with people you don’t know, particularly financial information.
Use long, strong passwords, PINs and passphrases and also enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) where it is supported.
Don’t act on any spam SMS, for example by clicking links or contacting the sender.
Take action to reduce spam you are receiving. The ACMA set out helpful suggestions of what you should do and not do to reduce spam SMS here:
Block and report spam SMS in your phone settings and download certain apps to further reduce spam. More information on this can be found here:
The Scamwatch website at https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/ sets out helpful advice in relation to scams and allows you to sign up for alerts.
What to do if you are scammed
If you have lost money due to a scam, you should contact your financial institution immediately.
If you have any suspicions you have been scammed you should change your PINs and passwords and make sure they are strong.
Report the scam to Scamwatch here https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/
How to complain about spam SMS
You can complain and forward spam on to the ACMA.
Forward SMS or MMS spam to 0429 999 888 (standard message charges apply)
Complain using the form here https://www.acma.gov.au/spam-complaint-form