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A Comprehensive Look at the History, Impact, and Future of Phishing SMS in Australia

Unravelling the Web: A Comprehensive Look at the History, Impact, and Future of Phishing SMS in Australia

This comprehensive blog examines the evolution and impact of phishing SMS in Australia, tracing its historical development alongside advancements in mobile technology. Highlighting the vulnerability of individuals to these scams, particularly among those less digitally literate, the blog emphasises the need for ongoing vigilance. It also includes a case study on the recent “Delivery failure notification” scam, urging individuals to exercise caution and verify the authenticity of such messages through official channels. As phishing SMS tactics continue to evolve, the blog underscores the importance of staying informed and adopting cybersecurity best practices to mitigate the risk of falling victim to deceptive text messages in the ever-changing digital landscape.

Fishing SMS

Fishing SMS

In the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats, phishing SMS (short message service) scams have become a prevalent concern for Australians. These deceptive text messages, designed to trick individuals into divulging sensitive information or clicking malicious links, have a rich history of exploitation. In this blog, we’ll delve into the historical context of fishing SMS, explore the extent of its impact on Australians, and take a closer look at a recent example – the “Delivery failure notification” scam.


The Evolution of Fishing SMS

Phishing SMS has evolved alongside advancements in mobile technology. The earliest forms were simple and often easy to detect. However, as smartphones became more sophisticated, so did the tactics employed by cybercriminals. Modern fishing SMS messages are crafted to closely mimic legitimate communications, making them harder to identify.

The techniques used in fishing SMS can vary, from posing as reputable organisations to creating urgency through fake alerts. Common themes include promises of prizes, warnings of account issues, or, as in the case of the “Delivery failure notification” scam, exploiting the anticipation associated with online purchases.

australia post scam

Example of Fishing SMS – Auspost link


The Impact on Australians

Australia has not been immune to the scourge of fishing SMS. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Scamwatch regularly reports on scams affecting the nation. Fishing SMS often targets individuals who may not be as digitally literate, such as the elderly or those less familiar with technology. Reports indicate that thousands of Australians fall victim to these scams annually, leading to financial losses and compromised personal information.


The Future of Fishing SMS

As technology continues to advance, so too will the sophistication of phishing SMS attacks. Cybercriminals are likely to exploit emerging trends, such as the increasing reliance on mobile devices for online transactions. It is crucial for individuals to stay informed about the latest scams and to adopt cybersecurity best practices, including skepticism towards unsolicited messages and ongoing vigilance.

A recent phishing SMS that has gained attention is the “Delivery failure notification” scam. The message informs recipients that their package has been returned due to an unclear shipping address and prompts them to update the address by clicking on a provided link. Unbeknownst to the recipient, clicking the link may lead to a fake website designed to capture personal information or install malicious software.

It’s essential for individuals to be wary of such messages, especially if they have not recently made any online purchases or if the message creates a sense of urgency. Legitimate delivery services typically provide clear and accurate information about the status of packages, and consumers should verify the authenticity of such messages through official channels before taking any action. Take a look at the ABCs write-up on it.



The history of fishing SMS is marked by a continuous cat-and-mouse game between cybercriminals and cybersecurity measures. Australians must remain vigilant and informed to protect themselves from falling victim to these scams. As technology evolves, so too will the tactics employed by cybercriminals, making education and awareness crucial components of the ongoing fight against phishing SMS. By staying informed and adopting best practices, individuals can navigate the digital landscape with confidence and reduce the risk of falling prey to deceptive text messages.

Content Created on 16/12/2023 by
John Pititto
Managing Director
The Original PC Doctor

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