Call types

Types of unwelcome calls

Unwelcome calls come in many forms. It can help to know what types of calls you might be receiving to find the best way to deal with them.

How can I spot a scam call, text or email? 

Scam phone calls:

  • Calls from people saying they are from well-known organisations, such as the Government, or familiar brands and companies
  • Calls asking for your financial details (such as your credit card or banking details) in order to process a refund or ‘overpayment’
  • Call quality may be poor, the caller may be difficult to understand
  • Caller applies a lot of pressure, urging you to take immediate action to address a problem and may use abusive or inappropriate language
  • Callers offering to put your number on the Do Not Call Register for a fee. This is a free service
  • Callers advising that your computer has a virus or is infecting other computers

Always remember, we won’t call you for a service or technical matter unless you contact us first. If you’re suspicious about the call, you should ask Is It Really Telstra Calling You?

Scam texts or SMS:

  • Unsolicited SMS messages asking for your personal details or asking you to click a link
  • SMS and MMS numbers that start with 19xx. These are charged at a premium rate and can be expensive. Look out for numbers that start with an international country code other than Australia (which is +61)
  • Texts promising unexpected prizes that require you to send money to claim them. For example: “Congratulations! You were lucky. You have been chosen among 100 thousand people. You won a new iPad from us.”
  • Texts that encourage you to click a link and install software on your mobile phone or tablet. Just like computers, malicious software can put your phone and personal information at risk

Scam emails:

here are two main types of scam emails:

  • Phishing - asking for your personal or sensitive information, leading to potential identity theft
  • Malware – these come with, or link to, an attachment that you are encouraged to open infecting your computer with harmful viruses. Sometimes the attachment looks like a Telstra bill and may even look like an email from Telstra

What to look out for:

  • Unaddressed or non-personalised emails, such as “Dear Customer”
  • Badly written emails with broken sentences, spelling and grammatical errors or words in a foreign language
  • Suspicious looking URLs or ones that don’t directly point back to the Telstra website
  • Emails that include a zip file, an .exe or other suspicious attachment
  • Emails that display account information that doesn’t match your Telstra account details. (You can refer to My Telstra for accurate account information)
  • Requests for your credit card, passwords, account details or personal information either by replying to the email, or by asking you to ‘click a link’ and fill in a web form

How to protect yourself

Scam phone calls:

  • If you're not sure the person calling you is who they say they are, hang up and call the organisation they say they are from using their official published contact details
  • Never share your personal information, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you initiated the call and the phone number you called came from a trusted source, such as contact details listed on your physical bill or contact us on our website
  • Don't respond to missed calls that come from numbers you don't recognise, it could result in excessive charges
  • Be careful of phone numbers beginning with “190”. These are charged at a premium rate and also look out for numbers that start with an international country code other than Australia (which is +61)
  • Consider enabling call screening and protection software which may be available in your mobile phone's operating system. For landline phones, a call screening handset such as the Call Guardian can also assist

Scam texts or SMS:

  • Do not call telephone numbers contained in suspicious SMS messages
  • Do not reply to an SMS from a number or person you can't identify – even to unsubscribe
  • Texts that encourage you to open a link and install a piece of software on your mobile phone or tablet. Just like computers, malicious software can put your phone and personal information at risk

Scam emails:

  • Avoid opening suspicious or unsolicited emails – delete them from your inbox
  • Don't reply to the email or open the links. If you accidentally click on a link which opens a website, don't enter any information onto the website
  • Avoid opening email attachments. If you've already saved or clicked on an attachment, make sure that your computer’s operating system and anti-virus software is up to date. Consider running an anti-virus scan of your computer

Reporting scam calls, texts and emails


Scamwatch, run by the ACCC, provides useful information to businesses and consumers about how to recognise, avoid and report scams.

Report misuse of service

If you receive an email claiming to be from Telstra, tell us about it with our online application. Our cyber security team will contact you if they need more information.

What should I do if I’ve become a victim of cybercrime?

If you have replied to an email claiming to be from Telstra when it’s not, you may be a victim of cybercrime.

Threatening, silent or abusive calls

What should I do if I receive hang up or silent calls?

Hang up or silent calls can be deliberate attempts at harassment, a robo-dialler, or a technical issue with your phone service. 

Recorded message:

An automatic dialler (or robo-dialler) is an electronic device or software that automatically dials telephone numbers. Once the call has been answered, the automatic dialler either plays a recorded message or connects the call to a live person. If a live person is not available, it will hang up or you will hear silence. When an automatic dialler plays a pre-recorded message, it is often called voice broadcasting or robocalling. Telemarketers and scammers may use this type of technology.

Technical issue:

If you are not receiving any incoming calls, and all calls are silent or dropping out please contact support. It’s important to let the agent know that you are not able to receive any incoming calls so that they can assist you with it further.

Do Not Call Register

To opt out of any genuine marketing calls, sign up to ‘Do Not Call Register’. This free Government initiative is to assist the public in stopping unwelcome genuine marketing attempts.

Managing unwelcome calls

Discover how you can use blocking and screening to prevent unwelcome calls from reaching you.

What should I do if I am receiving threatening or abusive calls?

If you've had an unwelcome call threatening life or property, contact the police immediately on 000.

They will contact us if they need further information.

Malicious call tracing (MCT)

If you are receiving other harassing or abusive calls, you can manage your unwelcome calls by blocking or screening the calls. We may also be able to start an investigation or malicious call trace (MCT).


Please note: Scam calls and calls originating outside Australia can’t be investigated.


To start an investigation into your harassing or abusive call or text, you need to provide us with information showing a pattern of unwelcome communications to your number. The purpose of this trace is to gather evidence to send the caller a warning.


You need to provide either:

  • Specific times and dates of 3 or more unwelcome communications (calls, texts or emails) spread over a period of more than 24 hours and less than 120 hours;
  • Specific times and dates of unwelcome communications received at regular and/or consistent intervals; or
  • Specific times and dates of unwelcome communications where 10 or more are received in a 24-hour period.


You will also need to record and provide:

  • Time and date of any unwelcome communications received within the last 30 days (calls do not need to be answered to be traced)
  • The nature of the call

Please note: You don’t need to wait until you have collected all the above information before contacting us. If you have concerns for your safety, you can report the matter to the police even if you don’t have all the information listed above. In certain situations, call blocking or a warning letter may not be the best response.


Telstra follows strict guidelines set out in the Communications Alliance Code. Once we investigate the details of your unwelcome communications and we confirm that a pattern of unwelcome communications has been met, with your consent, we will either issue a warning letter to the caller or contact the service provider of the unwelcome party initiating the unwelcome communications. That service provider will be responsible for issuing warning letters to the individual service making the calls.


If the unwelcome communications continue after warnings as per the Code, additional options are available including suspending or disconnecting the service being used to make the unwelcome communications. During this process you should keep recording the details of any unwelcome communications and continue to report them to us.


Please note:

  • Immediately report urgent matters to the police
  • Telstra is not able to provide you with details of the calling number or party
  • The exchange of information between service providers to investigate unwelcome communications is governed by the Industry Code
  • Refer to the Telstra Privacy Policy


To speak to us or to start a call trace investigation please fill out our unwelcome calls application below and one of our agents will call or email you as soon as possible.

Other unwelcome calls

If you are receiving calls that don’t quite fit under one of the other categories or if you’re getting calls from people claiming they received a call from your number but you haven’t made the call, please fill out our unwelcome calls application below. One of our agents will call or email you as soon as possible.


Report unwelcome calls

If you have received any unwelcome calls, let us know - we’re here to help. Use the following online application to report these unwelcome calls.