Back in April, we activated a new feature on our network that allows us to help block SMS scams before they reach you. Safe to say, it’s going great.

Fast forward a few months and we’ve blocked a staggering number of scam texts. In the last three months alone, our system has blocked just north of a huge 185 million malicious texts. That’s around 1,500 malicious texts blocked every minute.

61m+

SMS blocked per month*

2m+

SMS blocked per day*

1400+

SMS blocked per minute*

20+

SMS blocked per second

*These are approximate numbers are based on figures from April-June 2022

Messages blocked have included lures to install malware on your device, invitations to hand over your personal details to scammers, and impersonation scams requesting financial data. 185 million texts blocked means a reduced chance of everyday Aussies being infected or falling prey to a SMS scam.

It’s also a reminder that scammers are persistent and target just about everyone with a mobile number when it comes to their campaigns.

But that’s not all: since introducing our scam call blocking feature in mid 2021, we’ve also blocked over 200 million scam calls from reaching our customers. These calls are everything from fake tech support scams, so-called “Wangiri” call-back scams through to phishing campaigns.

How does Telstra block scam texts?

It’s a complex and evolving system, but in a nutshell our automatic machine scanning is on the lookout for messages that meet our detailed criteria of suspicious indicators. These are based on learnings from previous scam patterns such as where a message came from, where it’s going, and how many are distributed across our network.

You can check out more on how this process works on Telstra Exchange.

What scams does Telstra block?

An example of a malicious text message.

When we rolled out our scam blocking tech, the nation was under siege from the FluBot malware .

Flubot has since been shut down, with Australian authorities working collaboratively with Europol and other nations to arrest the malware authors, but as soon as one criminal scam enterprise closes, another takes its place. Such is the nature of scams.

Other scams we’ve caught in the fence include impersonation scams designed to trick you into providing personal info or even your financial data (like your credit card numbers) to a fraudulent website. Similarly, we’re seeing loads of bank scams, fake toll road scams, and fake job offer scams come through the pipe.

All these scams and more are why we have our tech working on the network to provide you with a safer experience.

How to report a scam

An example of a malicious text message.

No tech can be 100% foolproof and you are still the best line of defence against scam texts. There are a lot of applications currently available for both iOS and Android which allow you to detect and block unwanted messages.

We also have loads of tips on how to stay safe on Telstra.com.

If you receive something you think is a scam, you should report it to us. It helps us track scams in the wild and teach our system what to look out for next.

To report a scam, you can email us on scams@telstra.com, and we can investigate.

You can also report a scam to Telstra using our website or call us on 13 22 00. If you want to learn more, we also have more cyber safety advice on our website.

What else can you do to protect yourself?

If you want a little extra help keeping yourself and your family safe online, we’ve partnered with McAfee on our new Device Security product. For a low monthly fee you will get added protection from known viruses, malware, phishing scams and identity theft across 10 devices.