TelcoNews Australia - Telecommunications news for ICT decision-makers
Story image
Aussies lose trust in traditional comms due to scam surge, study reveals
Thu, 21st Mar 2024

Consumer trust in traditional communication channels, such as SMS, email, and phone calls, has taken a serious hit due to the surge in scams, with almost a quarter of adult Australians, equating to over 5 million individuals, falling prey to trick messages. Worryingly, one in ten people have lost money as a result of such scams, as revealed in a fresh study by Honeycomb Strategy in partnership with

The research, which included responses from 1,000 Australians and New Zealanders, found that a staggering 82 percent of adults in Australia have received scam messages on at least a weekly basis. Adding to the alarming figures, around 43 percent reported receiving these messages daily. The results from this survey emphasise the need for brands offering essential services like banking and retail to reassess their strategies regarding customer communication and trust.

Whilst in-app messaging is comparatively new and not yet as commonly used as traditional methods, it enforces a higher level of trust when individuals interact with businesses. Users must first sign into a web or mobile application on their device, resulting in a more secure and reliable two-way engagement platform. In fact, in-app messaging saw a trust level of 40 percent from Australian subjects, outperforming all other channels, including email, SMS, and phone calls.

The study points to a notable shift towards in-app messaging, with its enhanced security features providing reassurance for users in an increasingly scam-ridden digital landscape. John Bevitt, Managing Director of Honeycomb Strategy, stated: "Consumer trust is the cornerstone of digital communication, and the State of Digital Trust report indicates it's time to adapt. This research shows a decisive turn towards in-app messaging."

Interestingly, the study pointed out that scam victims are 1.5 times more likely to mistrust emails in the future, thereby posing a serious issue for organisations relying on them as their primary communication channel. Moreover, the research highlighted that chatbots and social media messages are the channels least trusted.

Matty Sirois, Chief Marketing Officer at, added: "Organisations are letting down their customers when it comes to secure communications. Australians are looking for more secure channels to communicate with the brands they rely on. Moreover, in-app messaging is the most trusted form of communication when engaging with businesses, far surpassing conventional methods. Customers trust in-app messaging's ability to detect spam and are more comfortable sharing sensitive information through this channel."

The survey also revealed concerning statistics regarding email and SMS-based scams, which currently sit at an all-time high and underscored the increasing preference for in-app notifications/messaging due to its superior security. The banking and finance industry, where consumer trust is paramount, showed a higher trust in in-app messaging. With the age factor in play, less than half (46 percent) of those over 55s believe that in-app messaging effectively prevents spam, compared to 61 percent of those under 55s.