iStockphoto.com/© Rich Seymour

Scam death text sent to boy, 12

A 12-year-old Tweed Heads boy woke to a shocking murder threat on his mobile phone on Thursday morning.

It read: “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!”

The boy said he was “spun out” when he read the message and took it to his mother Jenine Bryce straight away.

Mrs Bryce was shocked the message had come to her son and after making enquiries wanted the community to know it was a nasty hoax.

“I woke up this morning and my son said: 'Mum, someone is saying they are going to kill me',” Mrs Bryce said on Thursday.

“I am used to them on computers, just not on a phone.”

She said she didn't even consider sending an email as ordered by the text. She called Optus, who told her the phone number originated from Laos.

“The people are in Laos, it is not like they are going to come and get you,” she said.

Mrs Bryce's inquiries revealed the text message is just the latest scheme of cowardly scammers.

The message is a sign of the ever more desperate measures they are taking to scare and intimidate the public in to handing over money.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has received numerous complaints about the death threat scam and has urged the public to ignore the message.

Christ Chapman, chairman of the ACMA, said the nasty scam was distressing.

“Undoubtedly, a member of the public may be distressed to receive such a message, but they should not be alarmed,” Mr Chapman said.

“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.

“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,” the ACMA says.

Meanwhile, Tweed Daily News IT manager Jeff Walters was stunned by an audacious scam attempt over the telephone recently.

A foreigner claiming to be from a prominent software company told Mr Walters his computer was faulty and he would help fix it over the phone.

Being tech-savvy, Mr Walters was suspicious, but played along.

The scammer directed him to a file on his computer where there was an error message, but according to Mr Walters 99 per cent of people would have this particular error in their computer system.

Once the error was found, the man told Mr Walters to visit a website where he would find out how to fix the error.

Mr Walters hung up.

The public can report spam at www.spam.acma.gov.au or by calling 1300 855 180.



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