Glaring problem with 'hey dad' scam text an instant giveaway

Experts have one message for anyone who may have received this message.

By this stage, almost everyone in Australia would've received a scam text in some form or another.

Whether it's from fraudsters pretending to be Australia Post, credit card companies, telco providers, or even a family member, experts agree, the level of sophistication is undoubtably increasing.

With Aussies being duped out of a whopping $3 billion in the last year, which represents an 80 per cent increase since 2021, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), it's more important than ever to be vigilant.

Angus Kidman, telco expert at Finder, said it's crucial Australians practise common sense when it comes to scam texts, with new and savvy shams appearing daily. The latest of which, while not particularly complex, can easily be mistaken for a legitimate message.

A 'hey dad' scam text
Aussies are being duped by scams in record numbers, losing a whopping $3 billion last year alone. Source: LinkedIn.

In the message, a hacker pretends to be a parent's child. "Hey dad, dropped my phone in the sink while doing the dishes, it's unresponsive, this is my new number for now just text me here x," the text reads.

Mr Kidman said the number one rule to remember is never open a link in a text message from a number you don't recognise. If someone is claiming to be a person, organisation or family member, try contacting them direct first.

"But the reality is that they're so prevalent, and because everybody's got a mobile phone, there's always going to be a segment of the Australian audience that just hasn't picked up on that message, or don't think that it applies to them," Mr Kidman told Yahoo News Australia.

"You've also a percentage of people who are sceptical about the type of scams that exist, if you're sceptical of the mainstream media, generally, you're not going to pick up on these measures as a watch out for scams."

'Worrying' emergence of artificial intelligence scams

Mr Kidman warned that AI scams are rapidly increasing, and there's one sneaky way they avoid detection.

"We've seen this relentless acceleration of scams in recent times," he said. "And we've also got the scary prospect now of artificial intelligence, making scamming a bit more effective, because it makes it possible to make all the messages slightly different.

"And one of the key ways that these measures get picked up by telephone companies and email companies or whatever it is, is that they tend to have the same text in them. So you can look out for those repeated things."

Expert's single message to Aussies

"I think the message is just be cynical," Mr Kidman said. "Assume whatever is in the message is not true. If it does turn out to be true, you'll find out soon enough — but assume it's not true.

"The same applies to ones that get sent through on emails or shared to you on social media, or you know, ads that you see on socials claiming that Richard Wilkins just got fired because he promoted cryptocurrency — they're all lies."

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