Police around Australia are investigating a series of text messages in which it is claimed a hitman will kill the recipient if they do not pay out $5,000 The message says the texter has been hired to kill the owner of the phone and demands the cash be sent to an online account. It warns the phone user not to contact the police.
Police in South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia are investigating the hitman text scam, while authorities in New South Wales say they are looking into a number of threatening texts. Police believe the message has been generated from an international account and say there is no credibility to the threats. They have urged people, however, not to reply by text or email.
“We’re just advising people not to be alarmed by it,” said WA Police spokeswoman Susan Usher. ”The best thing to do is delete the message, don’t pay any money, it’s really not something to contact police about.”
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s scam watch service has received about 100 reports so far today. Officials in NSW say they have been inundated with phone calls about threatening texts. Police say it has caused a major increase in calls to the 000 emergency phone line and to local police stations.
image source: abc