Telstra phishing scam displayed on tablet screen
Home ScamsPhishing Scams ‘Unsuccessful Telstra Direct Debit’ Phishing Scam

‘Unsuccessful Telstra Direct Debit’ Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Scammers are again targeting customers of Australian telecommunications giant Telstra.

People have reported receiving a Telstra branded email claiming that a recent direct debit payment was unsuccessful. The email urges recipients to pay the missed bill and update their details by clicking a link.

Despite its appearance, the email is not from Telstra, and the link does not open the Telstra website.

Instead, the email is a phishing scam designed to steal Telstra account login credentials, credit card details, and other personal information. 
Clicking the link opens a fraudulent website that looks almost identical to the legitimate Telstra website.  Once on the fake site, users are asked to log in with their Telstra email address and password.  After logging in, they will be instructed to fill in a “Payment Update” form that asks for their name and address, date of birth, credit card numbers, credit limit, Telstra account number, and other identifying information.

After submitting the form, an “update successful” message appears. Clicking the “Finish button on the message opens the official Telstra website.

People who complete the form may thus be unaware that they have just handed their personal and financial information to online criminals who will use it to hijack Telstra accounts, commit credit card fraud, and steal the identities of victims.

Be cautious of any email purporting to be from Telstra that claims that you must click a link or open an attached file to update account information, correct a billing error or avoid a suspension of service.  If you receive one of these emails, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains.

The Telstra help files include information about recognising and reporting such scam attempts.

A screenshot of the scam email:

Telstra Phishing Scam Email

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,