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Telstra’s SMS scam filter has blocked more than 185 million messages


Telstra kicked off its SMS scam filter in April and has already blocked more than 185 million malicious texts – that equates to more than 1500 scam text messages blocked every single minute.

Scam text messages are sent to either try and install malware on your device or to harvest your personal details.

There have also been a number of text messages impersonating institutions like Medicare, Australia Post and the Australian Taxation Office requesting your personal details or financial data.

“Telstra is blocking scam text messages now at a network level before they even reach your mobile device,” says Telstra chief information security officer Narelle Devine.

“After spending some time fine tuning the technology we’ve now rolled that out to every customer on Telstra’s network which means less scam texts reaching you.

“The actual capability is complex and is constantly evolving but in really simple terms we’re applying knowledge of what the scam messages look like to block them at the network level.

“We have automatic machine scanning and it picks out suspicious content such as malicious links and other characteristics like time, sender and recipient so if a message looks suspicious, we’ll block it before it reaches you.

“The great news is that there’s nothing customers need to do – it’s already switched on for you.

“So every customer on Telstra’s network will now enjoy this video SMS scam filter so whether you’re on a consumer plan, a managed device through your company or you’ve signed up to another provider that uses Telstra’s network, you’re now better protected from the millions of scam text messages that are sent every day.”

And this is on top of the 200 million scam calls that are blocked from reaching Telstra’s customers ever since the company introduced its scam call blocking feature in 2021.