If you received the following text, what would your reaction be?
"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: firstname.lastname@example.org"
This is exactly what tens of thousands people from Australia got spammed with recently, according to BNO News. Although it may have been your first instinct to assume it was a scam, the police were inundated with calls from concerned locals. It is not known yet if anyone has fallen for the scam, but odds are some have, given the high number of people the message was sent to.
Here's more from officials about the scam:
"Across Australia at this point in time, we've been flooded and inundated by disturbing text messages claiming that you are about to be killed if you don't part with the sum of $5,000 and transfer this money into the hands of criminals," Detective Superintendent Brian Hay of the Queensland Police Service said. "Please understand that this is a scam, a very ugly attempt by fraudsters overseas to get your money. There is no immediate danger or threat to you or your family, and the tens of thousands of Australians that have been targeted en masse."
Detective Superintendent Jim Jeffery of South Australia Police said people who have received the text message should not call police as an investigation is already underway. "Do not pay any money. There is no need to be alarmed at all in relation to this scam. It is entirely a hoax," he said.
Unfortunately, BNO News reports Jeffery saying it is unlikely they'll be able to nab the scammer. People can first protect themselves by not answering the text in anyway, which authorities said if the scam doesn't prove lucrative, the criminal will hopefully not try it again.
Watch Detective Hay's warning: