IDCARE is currently assisting members of the community that are experiencing one of eight types of fraudulent SMS text messages (known as Smishing). Australia experienced a similar wave of activities in October and November 2018. These messages enter the legitimate historical text message stream people have received from the organisation that is being impersonated. This adds to the feeling of legitimacy the fraudulent text message has. Content of these text messages require recipients to perform an action, either to open a link or call a number. Links can also contain what looks to be similar website particulars of the brand impersonated – another legitimising strategy of the scammers. It's likely to present as either a threat to financial security or something enticing like winning a prize.
When links are followed it is common that recipients are asked to complete their personal particulars, including:
Around one in five clients that reported to IDCARE said that they completed the details and experienced further crimes. The most common misuse risks relating to the provision of this information captured by these clients involved:
IDCARE advises that if you have not opened the link or followed any other instructions received on the SMS text message then the risks in relation to identity theft and misuse are very low. If you are using an Android device it is recommended that you install anti-virus. Apple products rely upon operating system updates to maintain their security.
If you have clicked a link and completed the required fields we recommend you take the following immediate actions (where appropriate to your situation):
Brands impacted include major financial institutions,Commonwealth government agencies, social media, large retailers and telecommunication carriers.
If you require further assistance or have had other identity or account information compromised please complete an IDCARE Get Help Form. We will endeavour to respond to your requirements within two-business days but this will be influenced by demand. Note that we are a charity and not all organisations who refer their customers to IDCARE to address their needs support our charity financially. We appreciate your patience.