How to spot an SMS scam before they steal from you

At Tangerine, customer safety and security are top priorities. Citro’s telco partner explains the smart ways to spot whether an SMS is a scam or legitimate, and encourages everyone to report and forward suspicious texts to 7226 (SCAM) to help block them.

By Citro partner Tangerine

Many Australians would have noticed a rise in SMS scams received to their devices. 

SMS scams are a prevalent method used by malicious individuals to deceive and defraud unsuspecting users.

These scams often involve deceptive and fraudulent messages, that sometimes look legitimate, to trick recipients into providing personal information, sending money or clicking on malicious links.

Tangerine knows how important it is to keep you (and your loved ones) safe from scams and fraudulent activities. 

That's why we want to let you know that there is a new (and easy) way to do so.

How to report an SMS scam

7226 is a number that spells out “SCAM” on a phone keypad.

By forwarding the scam message to number 7226, you contribute to protecting millions of Australians from falling victim to these fraudulent activities.

Forwarding messages to 7226 allows Tangerine and their mobile partner Telstra to gather valuable information to continuously update their Scam Filter, ensuring that fewer scam messages make it through to your phone.

It's important to note that when you forward an SMS/MMS scam to 7226, you won't receive a reply message, and you won't be charged for sending the SMS.

How to forward a scam message to 7226 for iPhone users:

1. Touch and hold the message bubble you want to forward, then tap “More.”

2. Select additional text messages, if desired.

3. Tap “Forward” and enter “7226” as the recipient.

4. Tap “Send.”

How to forward a scam message to 7226 for Android users using the default Messages app:

1. Tap and hold the message you want to report.

2. Tap the three-dot menu button and select “Forward.”

3. Enter or select “7226” as the recipient and send the SMS.

How to identify an SMS scam

SMS or MMS scams are commonly used by malicious individuals or groups to deceive users and gain access to personal information or money. 

To stay vigilant, here are some warning signs to look out for:

Unexpected messages: 

Be cautious of unsolicited SMS messages that request personal information, advertise promotional material, or ask you to click on a suspicious link. If in doubt, don’t respond or click on any links

Premium-rate numbers: 

Be wary of SMS and MMS messages originating from numbers that start with '19XX' as they often incur premium charges. Additionally, watch out for numbers that begin with an international code other than +61 (Australia's country code).

False prizes: 

Be sceptical of texts promising unexpected prizes that require you to send money to claim them. Legitimate promotions typically don't require a payment to receive a reward.

Suspicious links: 

Avoid clicking on links in SMS messages, especially ones that prompt you to install software on your mobile device. Malicious software can compromise your personal information and device security.

Example of an SMS scam

To illustrate how SMS scams can appear, here's an example: 

“Congratulations! You’re a winner! You have been chosen among 1,000 Australians to win a brand new iPad. Claim your prize at: http://ipad.wins/aus”

Your help with reporting scam SMSes matter

Although the Australian telco industry actively blocks millions of scam messages monthly, it is impossible to catch every single one. 

As technology continues to advance, it becomes crucial for everyone to stay vigilant and aware of the increasing prevalence of scam activity. 

Each one of us plays a significant role in securing our personal and private data to prevent criminals from profiting from it.

By forwarding scam messages to 7226 (SCAM), you play a crucial role in helping Tangerine and Telstra to protect millions of Australians from potential harm.

These reported scams assist Tangerine in identifying emerging scam techniques and threats, enabling our cybersecurity teams to take proactive measures to safeguard you and your family.

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