Yesterday I received the following SMS:
Your Mobile number
has WON you the sum
of £750,000 from the
UK Nokia cash offer
send details for
This is another instance of a phone text (SMS) message that claims the recipient has won a bountiful sum of money in an online promotion or in an online lottery. Contrary to the claim there is no prize money and the lottery or promotion mentioned in these messages do not exist. In fact, the messages are just lures used by scammers to entice recipients into replying and getting personal information first and groom them to part with their hard-earned money.
This is somewhat similar to the Ontario Lottery Corporation Scam.
According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), scams delivered via landline and mobile networks remained the preferred delivery method for scammers, with combined voice and text messages making up 56 per cent of reported scams. Unsolicited telephone calls accounted for $24 million in reported losses while fake SMS messages, such as the one I received yesterday, netted criminals $759,986. Online scams increased to represent over 35 per cent of all approaches.
“Scammers continue to find sophisticated methods to deliver scams, taking advantage of new technologies and communication methods to try and slip under your radar,” said Delia Rickard, deputy chair, ACCC. “Nowadays it can take just the click of a button to fall victim to a scam, so it is more important than ever that we practice safe techniques when communicating with other-whether online, on the phone, at one’s business or even at home.”
The United States Postal Inspection Service warns that there has been an increase in the number of seniors victimized by foreign lottery scams by phone and by regular mail such as this one. Many of these lottery scams reportedly originate in Nigeria or Jamaica. At times, callers/scammers will claim the victim owes fees and/or taxes to collect their winnings. The perpetrators of these scams have been known are extremely pushy. They may find photos of the victim’s home on Google Maps and scare seniors by making them believe that they are being stalked.
So, beware! We are in for another spate of mobile scams.
- Ontario Lottery Corporation Scam (tvaraj.com)
- Société des loteries de l’Ontario Escroquerie (tvaraj.wordpress.com)
- Beware of this Scam: Microsoft® 2012 Online Promotion (tvaraj.wordpress.com)
- Australians fleeced out of $93 million in 2012: report (computerworld.co.nz)
- Wisconsin Lottery players get scam calls (jsonline.com)