AUS: 1300 630 488    NZ: 0800 1477 6287

Spot the latest investment and text message scams

We reveal the new cryptocurrency and text message, missed call or voicemail scams you need to watch out for.

Before you commit to a new financial investment that appears too good to be true, or open an unexpected communication on your phone that looks legitimate at first glance, take a moment to consider some of the latest scams costing Australians their hard-earned savings.  


The types of investment opportunities to be most suspicious of are those promising big or quick payouts and guaranteed returns with little or no risk. 

According to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), Australians are projected to lose $140 million on investment scams by the end of this year.

That’s more than double the total related losses reported for all of 2020.

There was a 53.4 per cent increase in reports about investment scams during the first half of last year compared to the corresponding period for 2021.

And it’s not only money that goes missing from innocent victims; information obtained by investment scammers is often used to commit fraud and identity theft as well. 

The chief culprit for this concerning trend is cryptocurrency, says ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard. 

“Investment scams are more prevalent than ever, and scammers are capitalising on interest in cryptocurrency in particular,” Rickard stated.

“More than half of the $70 million in losses [from the first half of 2021] were to cryptocurrency, especially through Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency scams were also the most commonly reported type of investment scam, with 2,240 reports.”

The scope and financial impact of cryptocurrency scams is severe. Of 1,931 investment scam reports involving a loss, 955 (49.5%) were due to cryptocurrencies with losses of $29,277,896. Bitcoin accounted for over $25 million of these losses.

In addition to cryptocurrency and traditional investment scams that continue to cause problems, variations such as imposter bond scams, Ponzi scams, and romance baiting scams are also on the rise, ACCC data shows. 

Unfortunately, older Australians remain particularly vulnerable. ​​People aged 65 years and over have lost the most money to investment scams so far in 2021, experiencing losses of $18.8 million from 548 reports, according to an ACCC update in August. 

The phone accounted for the highest rate of contact modes (30%) used and 39% of all losses to investment scams, but mobile apps and social networking sites hit slightly harder, accounting for 40% of all investment scams which involved a financial loss.  


Even when you’re on high alert for potential investment scams, different types of digital technology-based scams can be difficult to spot if you’re not paying close attention.

In recent times, scam text messages about missed calls, voicemail messages or deliveries have been luring Australians into trouble. 

Over 9,500 reports were made in the first month following the August emergence of the so-called ‘Flubot’ scam – in which text messages ask Android and iPhone users to tap on a link to download an app for tracking or organising a delivery time, or hearing a new voicemail, only for the fake app to in fact be malware (malicious software).  

It’s important to keep in mind that Flubot scams evolve and do not always look the same. For example, many Flubot messages now refer to a ‘delivery’ and request a specific action be taken.

The more recent text messages tend not to contain spelling errors, making them more difficult to identify straight away. These messages will include a website link followed by a series of random letters or numbers. Being vigilant about checking such seemingly inconsequential details could be what saves you from a damaging scam attempt. 

You also need to be aware of voicemail and missed call notifications that have been circulating in Australia over the past few months. These scams often feature the random lowercase letters and numbers at the beginning rather than the end. 

Installing this malicious software means the application may then be able to read your text messages, send text messages from your phone, make phone calls from your phone number, and access your contacts.

Scammers will likely be able to access your accounts and passwords, which they could then use to steal either your personal information or your money.

For further information about these and other types of scams, visit