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Australians losing trust in SMS, phone and email as scamming surges

New research from Honeycomb Strategy and Atomic.io paints a concerning picture of the Australian digital landscape. A staggering one in four adults (over 5 million people) have encountered scam messages, and 10% have fallen victim to these scams, losing money.

The report, titled “Atomic.io State of Digital Trust,” surveyed 1,000 Australians and New Zealanders (including 800 Australians) to understand their experiences with scams and communication preferences with essential service providers like banks, retailers, and utilities.

The survey revealed a constant barrage of scam attempts:

  • 82% of Australians receive scam messages via email, SMS, or phone calls at least weekly.
  • A concerning 43% report receiving them daily.

These findings highlight the prevalence of scams targeting Australians and the potential financial and emotional impact they can have. The latest Targeting Scams report from the ACCC has revealed Australians lost a record $3.1 billion to scams in 2022, as government, law enforcement and the private sector look to improve collaborative efforts to support the community in the fight against scams. This is an 80 per cent increase on total losses recorded in 2021.

John Bevitt, Managing Director of Honeycomb Strategy, said; “Time and time again, our research has demonstrated that consumer trust is the cornerstone of digital communication, and the Atomic.io State of Digital Trust report indicates it’s time to adapt”.

“This research shows a decisive turn towards in-app messaging, with users seeking the security it offers over traditional channels that are more prone to scams. Nurturing this trust is critical, and in-app messaging is pivotal for businesses to connect with consumers on a secure, reliable platform”

Email and SMS based scams are at an all-time high:

  • 23 percent of adults in Australia have interacted with a scam at some point, believing it was legitimate.
  • 1 in 10 people (2.6 million of Aus) say they have lost money from a scam message. Almost a third (33 percent) receive scam messages from email at least daily, and 64 percent receive them at least weekly.
  • Customers who have been victim to a scam are 1.5 times more likely to mistrust emails in the future – meaning organisations are facing an urgent issue for their primary channel.
  • Chatbots and social media messages are the least trusted channels

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