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Telstra Introduces SMS Filter To Stop Those Pesky Scam Texts

The nation’s biggest telecommunications provider introduced a new means of preventing the surge in scam text messages.

Telstra announced on Thursday that it had introduced a new feature for Telstra mobiles, enabling spam messages to be blocked at the network level - meaning they are prevented from ever reaching the users’ device. 

In a statement, Telstra stated that scam text messages were not only frustrating for consumers but “potentially dangerous”.

Many of the scam texts reported by consumers could install malware, steal personal information, internet banking and even “infect contacts”  Telstra stated. 

Telstra Chief Executive, Andy Penn, stated that “We know the number of scam text messages on our network is on the rise: in 2021, we had more than 11,000 reports of malicious texts to Android devices compared to 50 reports in 2020,”

The company said it had tested the feature in an internal pilot program for three months, with about 2500 employees taking part.

“We’ve been successful in detecting and blocking hundreds of scam SMS messages every day. Our people on the pilot program told us they saw a reduction in the number of scam SMS messages they received,” Mr Penn said.

The trial period allowed the Telco to ensure that legitimate messages are still able to be received, ensuring customers will still receive messages from large businesses, government departments and emergency alerts.