Vodafone has released it’s first “State of Scams” report with alarming data showing just how big an impact SMS scams are having in Australia.

It’s not just the headline grabbing life-savings being lost either – the most common financial loss from scammers was between $10 and $49 among 49% of survey respondents. Another 14% saw losses between $50 and $99, while those $10,000 or more losses affected 2% of people.

Vodafone’s General Manager of Corporate Security Simone Sant says “It doesn’t matter where you come from or your generation, fraudsters sending scam SMS and making scam calls are defrauding Australians every day,”

“You don’t need to fall for an elaborate scheme and lose thousands of dollars to be scammed. In fact, most people lose anywhere between $10 to $49 per scam.

“Our SOS Report is a wake-up call to remind Australia that scams are widespread and can affect anyone. It is more crucial than ever for Australians to stay vigilant and be aware of the common tricks used by these scammers.”

The biggest issue for me reading the report was that 75% of people simply aren’t reporting the fraudulent activity to police, and just 41% reported scams to Scamwatch. The fact is, the more we report this, the more attention it gets at at Government level.

Like their peers in the telco game, Vodafone has deployed Artificial Intelligence and user-enabled rulesets to ensure they can block as much scam content as possible.

The company has blocked more than 38.8 million scam SMS messages in 2023, and almost six million scam phone calls.

Here’s Vodafone’s “3 S’ approach to knowing when to hang up on calls or delete suspicious text messages.

  • Scrutinise: Be on the lookout for suspicious or unfamiliar numbers, names, or addresses.
  • Strange: Stay alert to strange or unusual requests for financial and personal information.
  • Seek: Seek out official phone numbers and websites when SMS or callers say they are from a specific organisation or company.

Stay alert, and report those you see and particularly fall victim to.