Text message scam alert

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The Department of Internal Affairs has received hundreds of complaints over the last 24 hours about large-scale phishing scams. The scams involve people being sent a text message with a link to a website that can be used to gain the recipient’s financial information. Engaging with these messages results in significant financial loss. If you are a victim of these scams, please contact your bank and lodge a complaint with the Police.

One of the most common scams will see the sender attempt to gain the recipient’s trust by impersonating United Parcel Service (UPS).

The recipient is sent a message notifying them that UPS attempted to deliver a parcel however due to unpaid ‘customs charges’ the package was unable to be delivered. The recipient will be directed to click a link and follow the directions outlined on the webpage.

The webpage will prompt the recipient to confirm redelivery of the parcel and advise them a $2-$3 fee that needs to be paid. The recipient will instead be directed to a ‘special offer’ page in the same styling as amazon.com, offering the latest smartphone at a heavily discounted price and prompting the recipient to provide personal and financial information.

If the recipient provides their details, the scammer will use their credentials to log in and steal money from the target’s account, or on-sell the credentials to others. Similar text scams have been sent impersonating the Lotto.

If you receive a text you were not expecting or a text message from an unknown sender, do not click any hyperlinks included in the message. Simply report the text spam for free on your phone by forwarding the spam text message to 7726.

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