Pay up or die, scam message says
A DEATH threat scared some people into paying $5000 into an unknown bank account yesterday for fear they would be killed.
The menacing email or text was sent from scammers pretending to be a hired hitman to extort thousands of dollars from victims and spare those who paid up.
It was understood that just hours after the message hit inboxes at 9.30am, a handful of residents had fallen victim to the scam.
Kawana marriage celebrant Trudy McGee was one of those targeted by Hitman Scam.
Her text message read: "Sum1 paid me to kill you. Get spared, 48 hours to pay $5000. If you inform the police or anybody death is promised. Email me now killerking247@yahoo. com".
Mrs McGee said she believed the scammers found her mobile number on her business website.
"I have received many scam emails in the past, but never of this sort, and never one threatening death," she said.
"It was a little disconcerting, even though I knew it was a scam."
The Federal Government's SCAMwatch sent out a national warning.
"These hoax death threats typically involve SMS text arriving out of the blue from what appears to be an international number. In some cases the number appears to be blocked," SCAMwatch said.
"A typical message reads: 'Someone paid me to kill you. If you want me to spare you, I'll give you two days to pay $5000. If you inform the police or anybody, you will die, I am monitoring you'.
"Some of the messages are long and contain all the text, while others are broken up into shorter messages."
The Daily understands the scam started spreading over the weekend and was sent out again yesterday morning.
Reports indicate the requested amount varied from $1000 to $50,000.
Police urged members of the public not to be alarmed and not to respond in any way to the message.
To report a potential scam, visit scamwatch.gov.au.