Telstra reveals the peak scam times and AI-driven scams targeting Aussies

Telstra reveals the peak scam times and AI-driven scams targeting Aussies

We all get them, far too regularly and they’re annoying; with carrier systems already in place to protect users there’s a stunning number of scam messages and calls that come to Australian shores. New data from Telstra reveals that scammers are more likely to target Australians during weekends and early morning hours. This is a bit of a level up on their previous tactics, relying on catching us at times when we are less alert.

Analysis of scam SMS messages blocked by Telstra in 2022 and 2023 indicates that Fridays and Saturdays see an 11% increase in scam attempts compared to other days.

According to Telstra, scam activities peak between 1am and 4am targeting users who are sleepy shift workers, up early for work, or have had a big night and not gone to bed yet…

Cybersecurity experts suggest that scammers choose these hours to catch recipients off guard, increasing the likelihood of clicking on suspicious links. It’s also clear that contact via text message remains the preferred channel for scammers. Telstra’s Cleaner Pipes initiative blocked an average of 11 million scam SMS messages monthly, a significant 69% increase from the previous year.

The other emerging change is that Telstra has identified increasing instances where scammers used generative AI to create texts that sounded authentically Australian. This takes the form of including local slang such as “true blue,” “time to get crackin’,” and “Oi mate.” Despite the AI’s attempts to mimic Australian communications standards, Telstra’s systems successfully flagged these messages as fraudulent.

There’s plenty of information sources out there to help you. So as scammers continue to evolve their strategies and innovate (certainly not trying to put a positive spin on that line of work) it’s becoming more important to stay vigilant, especially during peak scam hours.