Australia-based Optus introduced a security feature mobile customers can download for free to identify the latest scams and curb circulation by alerting the operator to suspicious messages through its My Optus App.

Optus noted the ScamWise app provides visibility of trending scams and the number of relevant calls and SMS it blocks each week.

It stated it currently intercepts more than 2 million calls and almost 2.8 million SMS a week.

The operator noted the National Anti-Scam Centre detected an increase in the number of reported fake websites which look like genuine online retail stores and cited Australian Competition and Consumer Commission figures showing more than AUD3.1 billion ($2 billion) was stolen through online frauds in 2022.

Optus’ scam team analyses reported texts, “with inauthentic messages blocked to prevent future circulation” over its network.

Customer reports also help the company update its SMS blocking rules, it added.

MD of customer solutions Matt Williams said scammers are “shifting their attacks to mobile and personal communication channels”, incorporating “relevant themes in their messages and evolve their tactics with world or seasonal events”.

“We are working to better protect our customers and make it harder for scammers to prosper.”