Online scams

Fake “survey” or “prize” award

When visiting certain websites, a pop-up may appear notifying you of a prize of a new mobile phone or tablet, asking only that you fill out a survey, or pay a small amount for shipping. These are scams and not legitimate offers from Telstra. Note that this scam can also come as an email, or SMS. Telstra recommends using a reputable “ad blocker” for your web browser to minimise the impact of these scams.

Fake Bigpond or Telstra support services

Be wary of websites which claim to offer Bigpond or Telstra support services but are not affiliated with Telstra. There are many such sites out there, such as bigpond[.]numberXXXXralia[.]com or bigpondemailXXXp[.]com, aus-emailsuXXXrt[.]com, and none of them are approved by Telstra. Using these services may cost you considerably and put your personal information and computers at risk.

Fake job recruitment scams

Bogus job recruitment scams in which a job may be promised in exchange for personal details, identity documents, and so on. Many of the bogus recruiters may contact you via SMS, What’sApp or through sites such as freelancer.com. Telstra does not make use of these services for these purposes and any offer of employment made through them is not authentic.

Email scams

“Changes to Legal Agreements”

This email claims Telstra has made changes to legal agreements which apply to the recipient of the email.  The message requests that you visit a website to “agree” to the policy updates.  The email may threaten that if you do not click to “agree” that your account may be limited.  Whilst Telstra may update our policies from time to time, we do not ask that you click on any links to agree to changes.

"SMS OTP CODE"

An email claiming that the last bill was unable to be processed and that a new credit card number needs to be provided. The email may instruct you to “keep the window open”. You may see a “3D Secure” or “Verified by VISA” logo on the scam website. This scam targets your credit card number and tries to trick you into providing it to criminals. Some versions of this scam email may contain a website link that points to the LinkedIn service.

"Your last payment was declined"

This email claims that “an invalid billing associated” was detected on your account, and requests that you visit a malicious website which asks for personal or financial information. Variations on this scam have been around for over a decade, and some other recent examples are listed below.

Invoice “INT 1-[long number]” and “code 004” or “code 044” scam

An email scam that claims a credit card payment was not successful. It may include a reference to “code 004” or “044” and possibly a number like 1-22341284291 or 1-2234129558471 as an invoice reference number. A link to a malicious website is also included. Note that the “INT 1-“ number may change, but the message is still a scam.

Ransom email

An email which appears to be “From” the same address that it is “To” and attempts to extort the reader into paying a ransom in Bitcoin to prevent the release of sensitive information. This is a scam and Telstra does not recommend paying the ransom. For Bigpond/Telstra accounts, you can manage your password in My Telstra and make sure it is strong and unique. 

"Unsuccessful Direct Debit"

This is a phishing email claiming that a payment failure by a financial institution requires a new credit or debit card to be provided. Email contains link to malicious websites. May also ask you to “Update Your Payment Method”

Fake “Overpayment” or “Refund Bill” notification

The email claims that an overpayment of 393.23 * 2 (638.46) was made, and that the recipient of the email is due a refund. The amounts may vary but will typically contain an amount and a multiplier (* 2). Email may be signed by a “Gerd Schenkel”. Contains a link to malicious website.

Business Email Compromise scams

We have recently noticed an increase in what’s referred to as a Business Email Compromise scam. These emails claim to be from senior people in a company and ask for money to be transferred urgently, or, to pay an urgent invoice.  

In some cases, they may request the purchase of electronic Gift Cards (such as iTunes, Netflix, Steam, or Google Play cards). Other versions of this scam include unexpected invoices with fraudulent “new banking details” being provided.  

In some cases, criminals may also attempt to impersonate employees and ask for payroll departments to re-direct salary to bank accounts controlled by criminals. Telstra advises all customers to verify bank and payment information in invoices carefully and repeatedly, and to not accept requests for payment submitted via email without speaking to trusted individuals to confirm the request first.

Telephone scams

Scams targeting Telstra customers

Telstra new telephone scam

A telephone call claiming to be from Telstra to validate the purchase of a new telephone. The callers may claim that that if you do not provide personal information that you will be charged for the device. They may also attempt to send you a One Time Code via SMS or email. These calls are not legitimate and are designed to gain access to your personal information or Telstra account.  

We advise you hang up on any such caller immediately.

Excessive use of the internet scam

Scam call claiming that due to “excessive use of the Internet” a fee of $89 (amount varies) is being charged. This call is automated and may request that you “stay on the line to speak to customer service.”

Nicole or Megan from the nbn scam

Automated call from “Nicole” or “Megan” from the “nbn” urging immediate action regarding nbn network availability and Internet access. Note that the name of the caller may change, and sometimes the automated voice may claim to be from Telstra.

Telstra one time PIN/code scam

A phone call from a criminal pretending to be Telstra and asking for an SMS delivered PIN code in order to “upgrade” your Telstra service, or offer some sort of a discount (claiming up to 100% discounts). Telstra would never contact you in this manner and ask for the One Time PIN.  

Never reveal one-time codes unless you initiated the call or transaction (such as with online banking).

nbn disconnection scam

A scam call where the caller claims to be from nbn and threatening disconnection from the Internet within 24-48 hours. Sometimes this call may be automated and ask you to press 1 or 2 to talk to a representative.  

These calls and calls like them are fraudulent and you should immediately hang up.

Disconnection due to suspicious activity scam

Automated calls claiming to be from Telstra and threatening disconnection from the Internet due to suspicious activity seen on your line, or hacking activity seen on your line. Sometimes the caller will try to enlist your support to “catch a hacker.”  

 

Other telephone scams 

There is a problem with your IP address scam

These scams are not new and have been around for many years. The caller will state that there is a problem with your computer, or, more specifically, your IP address, perhaps even claiming that many people are using it from overseas. The goal of the scam is to obtain remote access and control of your computer.

Border Force illegal shipment scam

A call that purports to be from “Border Force” and claims that an illegal shipment has been detected en route to you. The call is usually automated, and you may be asked to “press 1” to continue. This scam is designed to trick you into paying a fee or fine to avoid arrest or legal penalties.

ATO legal action scam

Calls claiming to be from the ATO and threatening legal action and/or arrest if action is not taken immediately. As above, these threats are in a computerised voice, and they will leave messages on voicemail.

Homeland security or arrest scams

Automated call from “Homeland Security” or a similar government-sounding name which may threaten arrest if you do not “press 1” to talk to a representative. These messages are scams and we recommend immediately hanging up.

Automated calls threatening legal action, including arrest, if the call is not returned immediately. These calls are usually from a computerised voice, and they regularly leave voicemail with their threats.

Overseas phone call scams

Unexpected calls which appear to come from overseas locations such as Africa, Europe, or other foreign locations. The goal of these calls is to trick you into calling back an unfamiliar number. These calls may incur higher rate charges as a result. You should avoid returning calls, especially overseas calls, when the number is unknown to you.

Pay for an overdue bill with a gift card scam

No legitimate organisation in Australia will accept iTunes, Netflix, Steam, Google Play, or other gift cards as a way to pay for a bill - if a caller ever asks for you to obtain these to pay a debt, it’s definitely a scam!

Mobile/SMS scams

eBay/PayPal/Amazon fraudulent charge SMS

This SMS may claim that you have made a large payment for a new computer, phone, or other expensive item. A telephone number is provided for you to dispute the charge. These messages may contain what appears to be spelling errors. Do not call the telephone number provided in the SMS.  An example message may appear similar to: “#Payment-Alert: You've paid A$2599.99 from your Bank Account info: PayPal TXN#401XVR15tq93 on 2021/11/11, If any Dispute, Dial us: < scam phone number > Thank you!!”

FluBot “You have 1 new Voicemail(s)”, “Missed message”, “ePacket/Parcel” SMS scam

This SMS is sent by Android devices compromised by malicious software known as FluBot. Some SMS messages sent by FluBot infected devices will claim you have a voicemail message to listen to, others may claim to be from DHL or that you have an “ePacket” or parcel on its way.  

These SMS messages contain links to websites which contain malicious software which can compromise an Android mobile phone. Clicking on the link will attempt to install Android malware on your mobile device (if you allow installation from untrustworthy sources). The link is unique for each recipient and SMS.  

Telstra recommends that you only install Android software from trusted sources such as the Google Play store. Many popular Android anti-virus packages will detect and clean this malicious software. Learn more about the FluBot Malware Scam.

“I meant to get this to you earlier” SMS scam

This scam is highly randomised for the content, but frequently will look like “Hello <name>.  I meant to send you this earlier: <malicious link>”  The names are chosen randomly. The greeting may also be an apology, like “Sorry Jayne”. The link is unique for each recipient. Do not click on the link because that may confirm your personal contact information to the scammers. The malicious website link points to fake news stories and is designed to generate revenue for the criminals by those who click on the link.

“Jassica” or “Christina Morrow” SMS scam

SMS claiming that “Jessica”, “Jassica”, or “Christina Morrow” “has shared an album with you” with a link to a malicious website (which may mention Facebook or Instagram in the URL). The website targets Android users and asks you to download and install a malicious APK (Android Package).

“Important” or “Urgent” messages from an Australian bank

“Urgent” messages that claim to be from an Australian bank and ask you to click on a link that is not a legitimate Australian Bank website. Many of these links end with suspicious Internet domains such as .mobi, .biz, or other locations which are not authentic.

Blocking scam text messages before they even reach you

We’ve turned on a brand-new SMS scam filter feature to better protect you from scam text messages.

What to do if you think you’ve been scammed

If you believe you’ve become a victim of a scam, stay calm, here are a few steps you can take to help you take control.

  1. Verify if it’s really Telstra contacting you

    Companies or individuals sometimes contact our customers claiming to be from Telstra when they're not.
  2. Report the scam to Telstra

    Reporting a scam or suspicious messages will help us minimise the impact to our customers. You can use the form to report misuse of service, or email us at abuse@telstra.com
  3. We’ll contact you if you need more help

    If you’ve reported to us that you’ve been scammed or have a specific question about a potential scam, our experts will contact you with more information and advice.

More about being scammed

  • Stolen password - If you think a criminal has your password, change it immediately to a new, unique, and secure password.  Go to My Telstra to change the password for your Telstra services. You should also consider using a reputable password manager to help keep your online passwords safe and secure.
  • Financial account at risk - If you’re worried about the security of your credit/debit cards or bank account, contact your financial institution immediately.
  • Identity theft - If you’ve shared personal information like your driver license, Medicare card, passport or other forms of ID, contact IDCare for help.

Find more tips on what to do if you think you’ve been a victim of cybercrime.