Are you an avid mobile phone texter, using SMS to keep in contact with friends and family? Watch out - scammers love texting too.

In recent years, SCAMwatch has seen the number of SMS scams reported increase significantly. In 2009, SCAMwatch issued alerts about emerging SMS scams involving claims of huge lottery windfalls or fake prizes. More recently, scammers used SMS to target consumers anxious to secure tickets to the FIFA World Cup.

Scam SMS is a type of ‘spam’, which is unwanted contact by electronic means. Spam can be sent by someone promoting a product or service, or by someone trying to scam you into giving them your personal details or money. Some spam SMS will even contain electronic viruses that can compromise your phone’s security.

An SMS is likely to be spam if you did not give consent to receive the message, the message does not identify the sender, and the message does not give you the option to unsubscribe from receiving further messages.

Scammers have clearly added texting to their toolbox – don’t let them fool you into providing personal details or money via follow-up SMS, phone calls or emails.

SCAMwatch urges you to report all spam SMS, whether it be a scam or unsolicited contact by a trader.

Spam SMS can be reported to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The ACMA has made it easier to report spam SMS – simply forward the message to them! Their dedicated Spam SMS line is 0429 999 888; your mobile phone provider’s standard billing rates will apply. You can also register online to make it easier for the Anti-Spam Team to contact you if necessary.

You can report a scam SMS to the ACCC via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch.

Related SMS news

Did you know that since July 2010, you are able to opt out of receiving ‘mobile premium service’ content? Mobile premium services come in many forms such as ringtones, news, games or competitions. You usually have to pay more for this service than your standard SMS charges. Contact your phone service provider to stop receiving premium SMS.

More information

Check out SCAMwatch for more information about how to protect yourself, including a more in-depth look at SMS competition and trivia scams.

If you would like to stop receiving telemarketing calls to your mobile or landline phone, sign up to the Do Not Call Register.

Read more

Scammers create SMS competitions or trivia scams to trick you into paying extremely high call or text rates when replying to an unsolicited text message on your mobile or smart phone.
Phishing scams are attempts by scammers to trick you into giving out your personal information such as your bank account numbers, passwords and credit card numbers.