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: killerking247yahoo.com.”
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.