Since August 2021, many Australians have been getting scam text messages about missed calls, voicemails or deliveries. We’ve received over 16,000 reports of these scams. These scams have also already been a problem overseas in 2021.

The text messages ask you to tap on a link to download or access something. There are a large number of variants of the Flubot text messages, but often they ask you to download an app to track or organise a time for a delivery, hear a voicemail message, or view photos that have been uploaded. However, the message is fake, there is no delivery, voicemail, or photos uploaded and the app is actually malicious software called Flubot.

Android phones and iPhones can both receive texts from the Flubot.

If you receive one of these messages, do not click or tap on the link. Delete the message immediately.

What the scam messages look like

Scammers are frequently updating the Flubot text message format. We’ll update this page regularly, but we recommend that you check the @Scamwatch_gov Twitter account for the most up to date warnings about these messages.

Flubot text messages change regularly

Flubot scammers are regularly updating the text messages they send out to try and infect your device with Flubot. Recently, we’ve received reports of messages relating to Zoom invites, Google verifications and ‘thank you’ messages from clinics, as well as the major categories.

Flubot text messages include a link which almost always contains a series of 5-9 random letters and numbers at the end of the link

As a general rule, if you receive a text message that contains a link, do not click on the link.

Photo uploads

Starting in October 2021, some Flubot messages now say that your photos have been uploaded. They provide a link to where the ‘album’ has been uploaded.

The typical wording of these messages is:

  • Someone uploaded your | pictures. A whole album is uploaded - | here:"> y6j
Screenshot of mobile phone saying: Someone uploaded your pictures, a whole album is uploaded.

Example: An SMS that says someone has uploaded your photos

We strongly recommend that you never click on the links in these messages. However, if you do accidentally click on this link, we note that this will take you to a page which claims your device is already infected with Flubot and tells you that you need to install a security update to remove Flubot.

This is a clever trick by scammers; your phone is not infected, but installing the security update will infect your phone as it downloads the Flubot malware.

Delivery notifications

Starting in September 2021, many Flubot messages now talk about a delivery. They usually refer to DHL and always ask you to take some form of action in relation to the 'delivery'. We have also started to see reports referring to Amazon deliveries.

Messages can include:

  • scheduling a delivery time
  • tracking a delivery
  • managing a delivery that is 'in transit' or will be 'delivered soon'
  • telling you it's your last chance to arrange pick up/delivery of a parcel
  • asking you to enter your details to receive a package
  • getting 'more information' about your delivery.

Unlike earlier Flubot messages (which are also still circulating), the new text messages may not contain spelling mistakes, so they can be harder to spot. However, they do contain a website link followed by 5-9 random letters and numbers. Here are some examples:

  • The delivery time for your parcel is 03/09. Check out your options: alfal
  • Your DHL order ID1842225 will arrive soon. Track progress here
  • Your order will be delivered by DHL tomorrow between 11:26 and 14:26. Track progress yewv
  • You have (1) Pending Package! Ref: DHL-6461W Last chance to PICK it up >
  • You must enter your details 2cc receive your package with DHL
  • ARRIVAL today: your Amazon package. More INFO at
  • Arriving today: your (d08) Amazon {s7} package. More info at
Text message that reads "Visit (website) to manage your delivery. Your order E201(redacted) will be DELIVERED SOON." Some identifying details from the message are covered with a bar.
Example: An SMS that says your order will be delivered soon
SMS that says "You have (1) Pending package! Ref: DHL-6461W Last chance to PICK it up." Some identifying details from the message are covered with a bar.
Example: This SMS says it's your last chance to pick up a pending package.
A message that says "DHL: your parcel is out for delivery today! Track your PARCEL here", followed by a URL. Some identifying details from the message are covered with a bar.
Example: This SMS says that a parcel is coming today.
A message that says "DHL: you have (2) PENDING packages. Last chance to pick up the package", followed by a URL. Some identifying details from the message are covered with a bar.
Example: SMS that claims you have 2 packages and it is your last chance to collect.
A message that says "Your DHL package is on ITS way! Click", followed by a URL. Some identifying details from the message are covered with a bar.
Example: This SMS asks you to click to track a package.

Voicemail and missed call notifications (August 2021)

Missed call and voicemail messages started circulating in Australia in August 2021. They often begin with 5-9 random lowercase letters or numbers, then say you had a missed call or voicemail message.

The text message often includes several misspellings. Here are some examples.

  • ab12c3 Nfw voice message received
  • gh6tr7 Voicemail message received
  • x78y9z New oozce-message received

After saying you have a missed call, voicemail or message, the messages include a link. The message may also say the voicemail message will be automatically deleted if you don’t access it.

Several Flubot scam messages, all listed in the spam and blocked folder in an Android phone's messages app

Example: Android's spam/blocked folder with several scam messages
A text message that reads 'Voicemail message received. Visit before it is automatically deleted.' Some details such as the full address are blocked out.

Example: A scam message saying that a voicemail message was received.
A text message that reads 'New vmice-meszage received:' Some details such as the full address are blocked out.

Example: A fake voice message notification on an iPhone
A text message that reads 'You have a mqssed calk. Caljer left yhu a message:' Some details such as the full address are blocked out.

Example: A text message saying that the recipient missed a call.
An iPhone message notification blind. It says: "sxpyr You hage a missei casl. Caller left yoj a messag." Some details are blocked out.

Example: An iPhone notification showing a scam message about a missed call.

What happens if you click or tap the link

Clicking/tapping the link could lead to downloading malware (malicious software) to your phone.

Here's what each type of scam looks like.

For photo upload texts

You'll see a screen with:

  • a warning that your device has been infected with Flubot
  • a button or link that asks you to 'install security update'

The page sometimes says that a window may appear preventing the installation and that you should enable the instillation via your devices settings.

For delivery texts

You'll see a screen with:

  • stolen DHL / courier branding
  • a button or link asking you to download an app to track your delivery's progress

The page sometimes says your phone may flag the app as suspicious and that you should ignore this warning.

For voicemail/missed call texts

You'll see a screen with:

  • your phone number
  • a note saying how long the fake message is (such as 2 minutes and 34 seconds)
  • a link to 'Download voicemail app' and instructions to enable the download of the application if this was blocked initially by your phone.

If you have an Android device

If you have an Android device, it will download an application called Voicemail71.apk, Update42.apk’ or DHL34.apk. This application is malware.

You would then be asked to install the application.

The landing page that fraudulently states your device is infected with Flubot can look like this:

Screenshot of Android, your device is infected with Flubot malware

The landing page that asks you to download the fake DHL application can look like this:

The fake landing page contains stolen DHL logo, an image of a woman holding a parcel, a button to download the malware, and instructions to bypass your phone's malware protection.

The application may be able to:

  • read your text messages
  • send text messages from your phone
  • make phone calls from your number
  • access your contacts

Installing the software is likely to give scammers access to your passwords and accounts. They may be able to use this information to steal your money or personal information.

It will also ask other infected Australian phones to send Flubot messages to the numbers it steals from your phone, continuing and expanding the scam.

If you have an iPhone

If you have an iPhone, you may see a link to download software. This software isn’t the same as Flubot, but it can still damage your device.

What to do if you’ve downloaded the Flubot

Act immediately. If you have already clicked the link to download the application, your passwords and online accounts are now at risk from hackers.

Don't enter any passwords or log into any accounts until you have followed the recommended steps. If you need to check your online banking, use a different device to do so.

Clean your device

Cleaning your device using the steps recommended will remove the malicious software from your device.

To clean your device, you can:

  • contact an IT professional
  • download official Android anti-virus software through the Google Play Store
  • perform a factory reset of the device, as soon as possible.

The best way to make sure that your phone is clean is to use the 'Erase all Content and Settings' or 'Factory reset' features. The exact name of the feature will depend on the device you have. Performing this reset of your device will delete all of your data including photos, messages, and authentication applications.

When performing a factory reset it's important that you don't restore from any backups created after you downloaded the app, as they will be infected.

Change your passwords and secure your information

If you have logged in to any accounts or apps using a password since downloading the app, you need to change your passwords.

If you have used the same passwords for any other accounts, you also need to change those passwords.

Contact your bank and ensure your accounts are secure.

How to protect yourself

  • Do not click on links in text messages that contain a link with a series of random numbers and letters.
  • Do not call back the individual who sent the text. It’s unlikely that they are a scammer or criminal. Scammers can disguise their caller ID as legitimate numbers to carry out these scams. This is also known as spoofing.
  • Delete the message immediately.
  • Learn more about FluBot scams and other relevant phone scams at the IDCARE website .

Have you been scammed?

  • Make a report to ReportCyber if you have been a victim of this cybercrime.
  • We encourage you to report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page. This helps us to warn people about current scams, monitor trends and disrupt scams where possible. Please include details of the scam contact you received, for example by including the email or screenshot.
  • If you have lost personal information to a scammer and are concerned, you can contact IDCARE.
  • Spread the word to your friends and family to protect them.

Publication history

  • 23 August 2021: We first published this alert about Flubot.
  • 7 September 2021: We updated this alert with more information about fake parcel delivery messages.
  • 22 September: We updated this alert with more information about messages relating to Amazon
  • 7 October: We updated this alert with more information about photo upload texts and information about Flubot scammers regularly updating their text message wording.

Read more

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