GPD warns of hitman text scam
Published 2:43 pm Thursday, December 29, 2016
Authorities across the state are warning of a new scam in which fake hitmen are sending threatening text messages in an effort to access one’s personal information.
Worse is that the text itself can render phones helpless to hacking attempts, which could jeopardize any number of account numbers or passwords stored in the phone.
According to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the text message received states:
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“I’ve been paid to kill you but wish to spare you, inform the police or anyone else you will die, to be spared contact email@example.com immediately.”
The sheriff’s department also reports that the message comes from the address firstname.lastname@example.org.
And though the agency in Montgomery County has received multiple reports of the scam, Greenville Police Department chief Justin Lovvorn said that the scam has yet to affect anyone in the Camellia City.
“We are aware of this scam, but have not had any complaints in our city,” Lovvorn said.
“If you do receive a text or email of this nature, DO NOT click on any link or message that is sent. The best thing to do is take a screenshot of it and delete what was sent.
“You can pass on the screenshot to law enforcement so we can research the information.”
Authorities have reported that replying to the message via text or email can allow a trojan horse virus to infect their device and steal their information.
And, due to the spreading nature of trojan horse viruses, it could then copy the person’s contacts and send the message out to all of them.
The Dothan Police Department and the Geneva County Sheriff’s Office have received similar complaints regarding the scam.
Though the scam seems to be spreading around the state, Lovvorn added that good-old common sense continues to be the best ward against scams.
“Always call and ask before clicking on any unfamiliar email or text,” Lovvorn said.
“Once you do it, your information is out there and that can’t be undone. The main thing to remember in most scams is don’t be greedy. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”