Snitch a scammer: our new reporting number to help customers fight SMS and MMS scams

Telstra is driven every day to make our digital experience a safer one. It’s why we launched our Cleaner Pipes initiative, and why from today we’re helping all customers on the Telstra network join the fight against scammers by reporting SMS and MMS scams to a national phone number.
Narelle Devine · 24 May 2023 · 3 minute read
A man looking at his smartphone over his glasses.

Customers who forward SMS and MMS scams to 7226 (SCAM) will help Telstra better protect millions of Australians from receiving harmful SMS/MMS messages that may attempt to trick them into providing their personal information, credit cards, or downloading malicious apps. All you need to do is forward the SMS/MMS scam to 7226. We won’t send you a reply message and you won’t be charged for sending this SMS.

Our Cleaner Pipes initiative helps to block on average, 23 million scam SMS each month since we introduced it in April 2022.

7226 is another keystone in the fight to stay ahead of scams and help Telstra’s internal cyber security team to more quickly identify and block emerging scam techniques or threats before they can affect more Australians.

While Telstra can and does block millions of scam messages each month, we can’t catch everything. Our technology is evolving so it’s important that everyone remains vigilant and alert to the rise in scam activity, and we all have a part to play in helping to secure our personal and private data to help protect it from criminals who want to profit from it.

How to report a scam message to Telstra

It really is as simple as forwarding a suspected scam SMS or MMS message to us at “7226”. Depending on whether you’re using an iPhone or Android device, this method could be a little different.

If you are using an iPhone:

  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.
  4. Tap Send

If you have an Android device using the default Messages app:

  1. Tap and hold on to the message.
  2. Tap on the three-dot menu button and hit Forward.
  3. Select or type 7226 and hit Send SMS.

It’s as easy as that. One thing to note is that you won’t receive a response once you report the number, but rest assured knowing we have received your report, which will help in preventing the same scam from potentially affecting others.

What to look for in a scam SMS and MMS

Telstra observes many of the most common SMS and MMS scams circulating. While SMS and email scams often bear typos and blatant demands for personal information and payments that can seem more obvious, others may be well written and avoid these kind of hallmark identifiers.

The best defence against scams therefore is to remain sceptical of all unexpected communication regardless of the purported sender.

It can sometimes be difficult to tell an illegitimate message from a real one, but here are a few pointers that can help:

  • Unexpected SMS messages asking for your personal details, advertising promotional material 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. Also look out for numbers that start with an international code other than +61 (Australia’s country code).
  • SMS promising unexpected prizes that require you to send money to claim them.
  • SMS that encourages you to click a link, which may then ask you to 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.

And of course, if you are in doubt, call the sender’s official number and check to see if it is real or a scam.

By Narelle Devine

Chief Information Security Officer, Asia Pacific

Narelle has a diverse background having worked across the military, government and corporate sectors. Narelle began her career in the Royal Australian Navy before joining the Australian Government’s Department of Human Services as Chief Information Security Officer. In June 2020 Narelle joined Telstra as the Chief Information Security Officer Asia Pacific. Narelle is responsible for the company’s cyber security operations, intelligence, risk, governance, compliance, development and engagement. Narelle holds a Bachelor of Arts in Information Systems and English, a Master of Science in Information Technology and a Master of Systems Engineering. In addition to her love of cyber operations she is passionate about workplace culture, diversity, training and recruitment and is a current member of the RSAC Advisory Board and the AISA Executive Advisory Board.