The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has received complaints concerning unsolicited SMS messages sent to Australian mobile telephone number holders. An example of one of the messages is below:
“I am about to kill you. If you want to live, contact [firstname.lastname@example.org] to get information on what you will have to do to live. If you ignore this message, you will die!”
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.
Another popular scam is known as an “Advance Fee” scam. The electronic message purports to advise the recipient that they have won a substantial share of a lottery, reward or prize if they can provide “transfer” or “courier” fees. The scammer may then continue to seek small amounts of money and the ultimate prize is never received.
Unsolicited commercial electronic messages with an Australian link are covered by the Spam Act 2003. The Spam Act applies to electronic messages, including SMS, which are sent with the intention of obtaining financial advantage through deception.
The Spam Act is enforced by the ACMA and complaints about spam can be made to the ACMA website.