“I’m sorry Tegan, I missed sending this to you,” read a recent text I received. It was followed by a random link. Within a few minutes I received a duplicate text from different number. As far as scam texts go, this is certainly one of the freakier ones I’ve seen.
As a consumer tech journalist, it’s not unusual for me to get random texts from PR. So I responded to the original text, asking who they were. They didn’t respond of course.
By the time I go to calling the numbers from a burner phone one had been disconnected and the other keeps rejecting the call. As it turns out, I’m not the only one to receive these personalised scam messages.
What are these scam texts?
Reverse Australia lists both numbers that contacted me as spam and includes other Aussies who received the same text.
ACCC’s Scamwatch is aware of this issue, telling Nine News it’s an investment scam and the links lead to fake ABC news articles.
An investment scam involves getting people to invest their money into dodgy or non-existent financial opportunities.
“We advise people not to click on links from unknown contact as they can infect your device,” an ACCC Scamwatch spokesperson said to Nine News.
“Scamwatch is aware that some of these text messages link to investment scam advertisements themed as fake ABC News articles. People should always be suspicious of investment opportunities that promise a high return with little or no risk.
People should not respond to emails or texts from strangers offering predictions on shares, investment tips, or investment advice.”
Gizmodo Australia has asked the ACCC whether it knows how these scammers were able to access people’s names.
Update September 2, 2020:
Just one day after originally publishing this story I received a third scam text message. This time the language has bee changed slightly, but it still aims to get the recipient to click on a bogus link.
Gizmodo Australia has followed up with the ACCC again with this new development and asked for comment.
What to do if you’ve been scammed
If you have been the victim of a scam, head over to Scamwatch for advice and resources. You can also report scams there as well. Always remember to never click on links in suspicious text messages or emails from people you don’t know.