BNOnews is reporting that “Tens of thousands of Australians” have received the following SMS message on cell phones across the country:
"Sum1 paid me to kill you. get spared, 48hrs to pay $5000. If you inform the police or anybody, death is promised. E-mail me now: firstname.lastname@example.org"
The police have been flooded with reports of this message showing up on mobile phones all across Australia. An investigation is already underway. Detective Superintendent Brian Hay of the Queensland Police Service reassured the public that these threats are toothless, pleading with the public to "understand that this is a scam, a very ugly attempt by fraudsters overseas to get your money.’
Surprisingly, this is not the first widespread “hitman” scam to spread across the land down under. In 2008 the ACCC issued a public warning regarding a similar attempt to swindle people via email.