'Hitman scam' hits Warwick

WARWICK residents were in shock yesterday morning at the latest SMS scam doing the rounds, which contains a death threat and a demand for $5000.

Scores of locals received the text message from a party calling themselves "killerking247" who claims in the message that "Sum1 paid me to kill you. get spared. 48hrs to pay $5000".

The message goes on to state that if a recipient informs the police "or anybody", that "death is promised" with killerking247 then demanding recipients email them immediately at a yahoo.com address.

Triple zero operators and police stations across Queensland and New South Wales were yesterday bombarded with calls from panicked mobile phone users, with the Warwick Police having received dozens of calls.

A Queensland Police spokesman said it was a resurgence of what has been referred to in the past as the "Hitman Scam".

"Police advice is to delete the text immediately," the spokesman said.

"It is important that members of the public are not alarmed and understand that such communications are distributed en masse and are not specifically targeting the individual.

"Do not forward the message on and do not respond in any way to the message.

"If any member of the public has transferred any money it is vital they contact police and their bank immediately."

New South Wales police were also investigating the mass transmission of the message across the state yesterday.

One Warwick resident who received the sinister SMS said yahoo.com addresses could be set up to render the author completely untraceable.

"I notified PoliceLink about it, not because I was worried but to find out if there was a taskforce I needed to report it to," she said.

"They requested I report it to SCAMwatch which I did, and they indicated they had received about 50 calls in half an hour."

Initial suggestions were the Warwick area was targeted by the scam operators due to widespread media reports about missing local woman Gail Lynch but it later became clear there had been a large-scale and interstate distribution of the messages.

For more information on the latest scams pay a visit to the Federal Government's SCAMwatch service at scamwatch.gov.au

To report a scam call SCAMwatch on 1300795995.

Topics:  scamwatch, sms



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