24 July 2012

The following information has been provided by SCAMwatch http://www.scamwatch.gov.au

SCAMwatch is warning Australians to beware of SMS death threats from scammers claiming to be 'hitmen' hired to kill the SMS recipient unless they send cash.

This scam has been around for a number of years, with scammers using both SMS and email to target you. The message arrives out of the blue and often contains a variation of the following text:

"Sum1 paid me to kill you. get spared, 48hrs to pay $5000. If you inform the police or anybody, death is promised...E-mail me now: killerking247yahoo.com.''

The scammers will typically request a sum of money and may also ask you for your personal details.

If you receive this scam SMS, do not respond - these text messages are often sent at random, so scammers won't know if they have reached a live mobile number until the recipient responds. Ignore any requests for your personal details as it may lead to the theft of your identity.

Protect yourself

  • Delete the SMS immediately.
  • Do not forward or respond to the SMS - if you do, the scammers will escalate their intimidation and attempts to get your money.
  • Never provide your personal, credit card or banking details in an SMS, email or over the phone - scammers will use your details to commit identity fraud or steal your money.
  • If you have transferred any money, or have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank and the police immediately.

Reporting scams

You can report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch or by calling 1300 795 995. Noting the text and phone number of the sender may assist in any investigations of the scam.

Should you ever be concerned about your physical safety, contact your local police.

More information

SCAMwatch has issued previous radars on 'hitman' scams:

Stay one step ahead of scammers, follow @SCAMwatch_gov on Twitter or visit http://twitter.com/SCAMwatch_gov.

If you have any doubts about an email's source, verify the sender by independent means - use their official contact details to check the email is legitimate before clicking on links or opening attachments.

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Information provided by ACCC

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Disclaimer

This information has been prepared by Enex TestLab for the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

The information included in this advisory is intended for use by private individuals and small to medium sized businesses. It is general information only and not intended as specific advice. It was accurate and up to date at the time of publishing.

As the material and information included in this advisory is general in nature and not adapted to any particular person's circumstances, it cannot be relied on to address specific cases. If you are concerned about a specific cybersecurity issue you should seek professional advice.

The Commonwealth, Enex TestLab, and all other persons associated with this advisory accept no liability for:

  1. information included or referred to in the advisory; any damage,
  2. loss or expense incurred as a result of the information included or referred to in the advisory, whether by way of negligence or otherwise.

Nothing in this advisory (including the listing of a person or organisation) should be taken as an endorsement of a particular product or service. Similarly, links to other web sites have been inserted for your convenience and do not constitute endorsement of material at those sites, or any associated organisation, product or service.

Please note that third party views or recommendations included in this advisory do not reflect the views of the Commonwealth, or indicate its commitment to a particular course of action. Material on this site or in this advisory may also include information provided by third parties. The Commonwealth cannot verify the accuracy of any third party information included in the advisory or on the site.

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