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Tens of Thousands of Australians Targeted by SMS “Hitman Scam”

Australian authorities began receiving notifications Monday morning that a number of citizens had received death threats via text message. Every message received was identical and was what is referred to as a “Hitman Scam.” This type of scam has been seen before, but rarely on so large a scale.

According to BNO News, the text message sent to tens of thousands of Australians on Monday read as follows:

“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:”

Police across Australia are assuring people that the message is, in fact, a hoax and that no one should reply to the text, contact the sender via email, or transfer any money. A police investigation is already underway; however, “it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to identify and prosecute those responsible,” said Detective Superintendent of South Australia Police, Jim Jeffery. Because the message came from a “0000” number, it will be nearly impossible to trace. Hopefully, in the wake of this incident, people will learn to be more wary of this kind of scam in the future.

(BNO News via Gizmodo; title image via The Expired Meter)

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