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October 16, 2021
Advice

How to stop Flutbot voicemail text message scams with SMS filtering

If you have been receiving a large amount of text messages about missed calls, new voicemails or deliveries from unknown numbers, you’re not alone. Thousands of Australians have received the Flutbot malware text, with Scamwatch receiving over 16,000 reports since the scam text messages reached our shores in August 2021.

When you receive one of the Flutbot scam text messages it does not mean you have been scammed (yet) nor will your device be inflected with the malware software that automatically downloads when clicking the link. You will be inflected with malware if you click on the link and take action upon opening the URL.

Example of Flutbot Scam Text Messages

You could be forgiven for being tricked into clicking the link with the scammers often using fake trusted company URLS, such as MyGov, iiNET, DHL or eBay to name a few.

It’s crucial that you look closely at the URL link in text messages and emails from unknown senders. Many scams will try to trick you by appearing very similar to a trusted brand or government agency. Some examples below:

Scam URL Link Examples

The links in scam text messages and emails encourage you to install malware (malicious software) onto your device. This malware searches through all your contacts and sends out the same text message to them. All the while, your phone is also infected with a virus.

What should I do if I have clicked the link in a Flubot scam text?

  • Exit/close the web-browser that automatically opens up [immediately].
  • If the flutbot has already downloaded onto your device you will need to restore your phone from a back up prior to the date/time you clicked on the link/accidentally downloaded the malware.
  • Once the malware/software has been removed, change your passwords on key platforms such as your internet banking, social networking accounts, work or school apps and email.
How to set up SMS filters on iPhone

iOS – Message Filtering

To sort these spam messages on your iPhone follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings. Then scroll down and tap Messages.
  2. Scroll down and enable Filter Unknown Senders.
  3. Now open Messages and tap Filters in the top left of the screen.
  4. Under All Messages, you will see two new message filters: Known Senders and Unknown Senders.
  5. Tap a filter to see the associated message list.
  6. Go back to the lists by tapping Filters in the top left of the screen.
How to set up SMS filters on Android Smartphones

ANDROID Message Filtering

To block spam messages on an Android follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Messaging app and tap the three dots icon in the upper right-hand of the screen.
  2. Tap on “Settings,” –> “Spam Protection.”
  3. Scroll down until you find “Enable Spam Protection.”
  4. Turn it on by swiping the button to the right.
  5. All your spam text will be auto detected and sent to a spam/junk folder.

 

Author: Luca Gennai (Cyber Security Officer, Cyber Safety Project)

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