How to protect yourself from the Flubot scam

What is the Flubot scam?

The Flubot scam is something many Australians have been facing on an almost daily basis. You’ve likely already received text messages from random phone numbers about various missed calls, voicemails and upcoming deliveries.

These text messages normally have a link in them telling you to click to download an app that is supposedly needed for them to hear their voicemail or accept delivery.

But it’s not what it seems. The app is actually malicious software called Flubot. The Flubot scam has recently become a very popular scam with many Australians receiving multiple text messages a day. Since August 2021, there have been over 9500 reports of this scam to Scamwatch.

How to spot a Flubot scam text message?

Originally, the text messages that circulated as part of the Flubot scam claimed that you had missed a call or a voicemail to listen to. These were easy to spot as most of them had substantial spelling errors and started with a random collection of numbers and letters.

Since September 2021, a new range of messages has flooded the phones of Australians, which now show details about supposed upcoming deliveries. Whether this is to schedule a delivery, track a delivery or even claiming it is the last chance to accept a delivery, these text messages don’t have as many errors and can be harder to spot.

You should always be in the habit of checking links (by reading, not clicking) in text messages and make sure it’s from a reputable company.

What to do if you have downloaded the Flubot?

Downloading the Flubot app can be very dangerous for your personal information that is stored on your phone. According to Scamwatch, the app may be able to read your text messages, send texts from your phone, make phone calls from your number and access your contacts.

The app can even give scammers access to your passwords and account numbers that are saved on your device. It can also use your phone number to send Flubot scam messages to other numbers that it steals from the contact list of other infected phones and continues to expand the reach of this scam.

How to protect yourself from the Flubot scam?

  • Do not click the links in the text messages you receive even if they resemble a legitimate organisation.
  • Delete the message immediately.
  • Do not call back the number you received the text message from.

If you have accidentally downloaded the Flubot to your device, you need to act immediately.

Don’t log in to any apps including internet banking apps or social media until you have cleaned your device by a professional or done a factory reset of your phone. Don’t forget, that a factory reset will also delete all of the existing data on your phone.

If you have logged in to any of your accounts while the Flubot was downloaded on your phone, you will need to change your passwords and also call your bank to make sure your accounts are secure.

If you suspect you have been scammed, you can report the scam to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Source: Missed delivery, call or voicemail (Flubot) scams. Scamwatch - https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/news-alerts/missed-delivery-call-or-voicemail-flubot-scams