80% of Aussies hit with scam texts weekly

Scam texts on mobile phones. | Newsreel
Fake delivery texts are the most prevalent scams in Australia. | Photo: Synthetick (iStock)

More than 80 percent of Australians receive at least one scam text every week, with fake shipping or package delivery messages the most common.

New research, commissioned by Australia Post, found 73 percent of respondents surveyed received fake delivery or package scam messages, by far the most prevalent, with overdue tolls the next most prevalent fake message (49 percent).

It also showed 80 percent of Australians received between one to 10 scam texts or calls every week, with 15 percent of people receiving 16 or more scam emails a week.

Australia Post’s Group Chief Executive Paul Graham said the research found more than a quarter (27 percent) of respondents admitted they had fallen victim to a scam, often resulting in a financial loss or identity theft.

“Of these, a small number (5 percent) reported they had lost more than $20,000 to scammers,” Mr Graham said.

He said the research underscored the need to track parcels through official apps or websites.

Mr Graham said more than half (54 percent) of those surveyed revealed they had initially believed a fake delivery message was legitimate and pursued it before realising the content was fraudulent.

“Australians are losing billions of dollars to scams each year. Scam attempts are becoming more sophisticated, frequent and increasingly harder to detect and our latest research reveals that most of us have already been targeted.

“With many people being bombarded with fake texts, emails and calls the best way for customers to stay safe from scams is by using the free AusPost app, which tracks deliveries securely.”

He said Australia Post would never call, text or email asking for personal or financial information including password, credit card details or account information, nor would it call, text or email you to request payment.

The most common scams Australians reported receiving included:

  • Delivery and packages: 73 percent.
  • Overdue Tolls: 49 percent.
  • Winning a prize, money or holiday: 39 percent.
  • A purchase that wasn’t made: 36 percent.
  • Banking matters:  31 percent.
  • Telecommunications: 26 percent.
  • Unpaid taxes: 22 percent.
  • Children losing their phones: 8 percent