SCAMwatch is warning the Australian community to beware of death threat spam text messages from scammers pretending to be a hired hitman in order to extort thousands of dollars from their victims.

SCAMwatch and several police and law enforcement agencies across Australia have received reports of text messages warning the recipient that they have been targeted for death- but will be spared if they pay up.

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.

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. Also, reports indicate the requested amount can vary from between $1000-$50,000.  
The scammers also provides payment details and an email address to their victims.

This scam is designed to frighten the recipient and has already snared victims across Australia and in other countries. SCAMwatch urges you to warn your family, friends and colleagues about this scam.

Anyone who has received emails or text messages of this nature should ignore them- don't respond and don't send any money to the scammers.

The scammer may also ask you to provide personal information, including your banking details. SCAMwatch strongly urges you to ignore this request as your identity may be compromised, and you may risk being a victim of identity theft.

If you have received any threats like this- visit the report a scam page. Noting the text and the phone number may assist in any investigations of the scam.

Should you ever be concerned about your physical safety, contact your local police.

Stay one step ahead of the scammers. Explore SCAMwatch for more tips on how to recognise and protect yourself from scams.

Back to the SCAMwatch radar.

Read more

Scammers will use any means possible to steal your identity or your money – including threatening your life or 'hijacking' your computer.