Tuesday, 1 March 2016

SMS Scams - be careful

Unfortunately there's a lot of scammers using SMS to send a text message in response to classified ads.

What happens is, scammers compile a list of mobile numbers plucked out of classified ads..usually CarSales, Gumtree or Ebay.

Their modus operandi is, scammer sends a text to the advertisers expressing interest in the car or boat for sale. They use a false phone number and ask that the seller only respond to them via email.

The email address is a "normal" looking name like johncitizen99@gmail so they are getting clever.

These horrid scammers try to convince you they are interested in your item and usually ask you to pay some kind of "shipping fee" via Western Union or Money Gram.

Of course these scammers do the rounds of the SMS companies and try to setup accounts and abuse free credits. Or they try to buy credits with stolen PayPal details (usually from a phishing scam) and then try to send their scammy texts...double-dipping scammers!

A colleague from Europe told us the scammers are really hitting Australia now because we are perceived as being a very rich country.

We've got a strict protocol of security steps with our SMS Express platform for all new account signups,  which you would have experienced after signup. We know it's an extra few steps, but we don't muck about with security.

Good thing is we manage to catch scammers and get rid of them and report them to PayPal.

But if you advertise on Gumtree or any of the classified sites, please be careful. Might be an idea to accept cash, and anybody who says they cannot view the item or has poor spelling and grammar, and the whole conversation looks a bit odd, just hit delete or do a Google search on the email address. The scammers tend to use the same emails for a time until they get caught too many times.

Here's some more info on these scams:
https://info.ebayclassifieds.com/helpcenter/?article=179

https://www.paypal-community.com/t5/Access-and-security/SELLING-CARS-ON-GUMTREE-SCAM-TO-WATCH-FOR/td-p/631754?profile.language=en-gb