‘Life or death’ SPASMS alert: SMS death threat

The communications regulator has sounded the alarm after receiving a number of complaints from Australians who received SMS messages containing death threats.The threats, which tell the victim “I am about to kill you” unless they contact an email address, are part of an SMS scam campaign designed to con targets out of personal details, cash and passwords.
http://www.theage.com.au/technology/security/life-or-death-spasms-alert-20090701-d4sz.htmlAlso see:Fly-by SMS death threats hold Aussies to ransom
The federal government has issued a warning against fly-by criminals who are issuing SMS death threats to defraud victims.The anonymous death threats warn victims that they will be killed unless they follow instructions pointing to a Web address or e-mail account, where a random is often demanded.
http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/070109-fly-by-sms-death-threats-hold.htmlSMS death threat warning issued by ACMA
SMS death threats are being sent to Australian mobile phone users in a sickening scam aimed at extorting money from victims. Shameless shysters are texting the messages to scare victims into handing over money, credit card details or other personal information.
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25717781-661,00.html‘Death threat’ SMS being sent to mobiles [AAP]
Some people are receiving text messages containing death threats as part of an international scam – and they’re been told to report them to authorities.
http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21498,25718545-5005361,00.htmlThe ACMA warns that threatening SMS message is hoax spam [news release]The Australian Communications and Media Authority has received complaints of SMS messages which contain death threats if the recipient ignores the message.’Undoubtedly, a member of the public may be distressed to receive such a message, but they should not be alarmed,’ said Chris Chapman, Chairman of the ACMA. ‘These threats are a particularly nasty type of scam. The messages should simply be ignored – they are intended to frighten recipients into providing money, credit card details and personal information to the scammer. If you receive messages of this type, report them to the ACMA.’The ACMA has confirmed that the SMS messages are originating from an overseas location. Recipients are urged to ignore the messages and, under no circumstances reply to the scammers, disclose any personal information, or pay money.The public can report spam at ACMA’s spam website www.spam.acma.gov.au or by telephone.BackgrounderThe ACMA has received complaints concerning unsolicited SMS messages sent to Australian mobile telephone number holders. An example of one of the messages is below:”I am about to kill you. If you want to live, contact [xxx@xxx.com] to get information on what you will have to do to live. If you ignore this message, you will die!”These types of electronic messages are used as an inducement to supply personal information, credit card details and usernames and passwords to the scammer. Commonly sent by email, scams also often pretend to be from a well-known bank, financial institution or telecommunications provider.Another popular scam is known as an “Advance Fee” scam. The electronic message purports to advise the recipient that they have won a substantial share of a lottery, reward or prize if they can provide “transfer” or “courier” fees. The scammer may then continue to seek small amounts of money and the ultimate prize is never received.Unsolicited commercial electronic messages with an Australian link are covered by the Spam Act 2003. The Spam Act applies to electronic messages, including SMS, which are sent with the intention of obtaining financial advantage through deception.The Spam Act is enforced by the ACMA and complaints about spam can be made to the ACMA website at www.spam.acma.gov.au or by calling 1300 855 180.Information about common scams is available on the website and from the ACCC’s Scamwatch website.This news release was sourced from the ACMA website at:

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