Scams, Spam and SMS

This scam has been around for years however a huge number of people are caught out each day; you receive an SMS (text message) on your mobile/cell phone for someone else (and there is usually a call-to-action such as Be on the lookout for SMS spam and scams‘please confirm by SMS’). The problem is that if you respond to this scam you’ll be paying premium rates for the SMS and likely even unwittingly subscribing to receive expensive regular text messages.

The real issue however is that the SMS sent by scammers appears very genuine and polite and it merely seems that the SMS has been sent to the wrong person. In fact, the same message has been spammed to thousands of random mobile phone numbers. This scamming is a form of social engineering where the scammer is relying on the goodwill of the recipient of the SMS. The SMS is not asking for anything (besides perhaps a confirmation SMS to be sent back) so many good natured people will respond to the text message advising that the SMS was sent to the wrong person. Your good nature has just cost you a lot of money and made the scammer another few dollars (and if you have been scammed into subscribing for premium services you are really going to battle to unsubscribe)!

The Australian Government has a few very good websites about these sorts of scams and how to avoid them.

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