Beware of “voucher prize” scam text messages

30 June 2012

SCAMwatch is warning consumers not to respond to text messages which claim you have won a voucher, when in fact you are entering into an expensive mobile premium SMS service.

How this scams works

  • You may receive a text message from an unknown number congratulating you on winning a voucher from a competition you supposedly entered into.
  • This scam uses (without authority) brand names and logos of well-known companies and products in order to make the prize look legitimate. The voucher is for a high dollar value, which makes it especially attractive.
  • You will be provided with a code to enter into a website to claim your voucher. Once the code is entered the website link will redirect you to another website confirming your win.
  • On the second website you will be requested to enter your mobile number. It has been reported that if you enter your number you may be subscribed to a mobile premium service (mps).
  • Mps can be activated by typing your mobile phone number into a website resulting in you receiving an expensive phone bill you didn’t expect.
  • Similar scams are perpetrated via email with links to online scam surveys.

Protect yourself

  • Never give your mobile phone details in response to an unsolicited SMS.
  • Never enter your mobile phone number into a website unless you are certain that the website is genuine. Never enter details into a website which you visited by clicking on a link in an SMS.
  • Never respond “Ok” or in the affirmative to SMS messages you receive out of the blue and have no knowledge of. Responding to these messages could subscribe you to further expensive competition and prize alerts.
  • If in doubt about the authenticity of an SMS, always contact the business or service provider to verify that the request is genuine.
  • Never rely on contact details provided in an SMS. Instead, find genuine contact details independently from an authentic source.
  • Be very wary when filling in online surveys. Scammers commonly use these surveys to steal your valuable personal information.

Report

You can report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch.

More information

Visit the Australian Communication and Media Authority’s mobile premium services – information for consumers web page.

Stay one step ahead of scammers, follow @SCAMwatch_gov on Twitter or visit http://twitter.com/SCAMwatch_gov

JB Hi Fi have also issued a warning about this type of scam via their twitter account.

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