Telstra says it is blocking more than 332 million scam and spam emails every month as part of its Cleaner Pipes programme which can detect and block these unwanted messages, SMS and phone call scams.
That’s 7,600 blocked emails every minute.
And this is on top of Telstra’s existing technology that’s blocking up to 15 million scam calls and more than 61 million scam text messages every month to protect its customers.
Earlier this month the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Scamwatch said cyber scams were on the rise with more than 166,000 reports registered up to September this year.
Scamwatch says email is the third most reported scam after phone an SMS scams.
Email scams are not only annoying, but they could also be malicious and lead to either your personal information or your money or both being stolen.
A cyber criminal’s goal with these email scams is to trick you into revealing your personal information, banking details or infecting your computer with malware.
The most common scam being blocked are emails containing malicious attachments and phishing emails making you think the messages from a reputable company or financial institution.
The latest scams include elaborate bank scams, fake toll road scams and fake job offers.
Technology to identify and block these types of scams is constantly improving.
Telstra doesn’t want to give away their secrets and help any potential scammers, but they did reveal the three main areas used to detect and block email scams.
The first is Reputation List Filters which is a long list of “bad actors” which can identify if an email is coming from a known suspicious source.
If it matches the name on this list, it’s blocked before reaching Telstra’s email network.
Next is Malicious Attachment Scanning which works like antivirus software and looks at all incoming email attachments and checks for potential viruses that could infect the recipient’s computer.
If any of these attachments are flagged, the email and the attachment are blocked.
Telstra’s technology also includes Malicious Link Scanning which combines both list filtering and attachment scanning and checks any URL links in emails to see if they lead to known scam websites.
In the cases where Telstra is not certain if an email is a scam, it will be sent to a customer’s junk folder.
And Telstra says if a scam email actually makes it through to your inbox, the best thing to do is to mark it as spam or junk to help improve their filters.
Telstra’s tips on what to do if you receive a suspected scam email
– Don’t reply to the email or open the links. If you accidentally click on a link before verifying it, don’t enter any information onto the website.
– Pay close attention to the sender’s email address and any links in emails for anything that doesn’t look legitimate. It’s important to know the address can still be faked on some occasions, so make sure you double check another way too.
– If you suspect an email is a phishing email and it contains information like an account number, cross check whether the details correspond with details on a previous official email or with MyTelstra for Telstra customers.
– Be suspicious of unaddressed or generically addressed emails.
– Finally, just listen to your gut. If something looks wrong or feels wrong – like typos across the text, colours that don’t seem quite right or an unexpected request for information – double and triple check it.