AN Albury man who yesterday received a death threat text message from “hitman” scammers said he wasn’t worried about it being genuine.
Border police said Tyrone Naughtin was one of more than 100 people in the region to either call or go to the station to report the text.
Rather than call the police, Mr Naughtin took a screenshot of the message on his iPhone and posted it on Facebook where it got “about 20 comments” making fun of it.
“I just thought it was a dodgy hoax,” he said.
“Especially because of the email address email@example.com.
“To start with I was thinking I might call police because I wouldn’t want my grandma getting a message like that but then I heard on the radio that it was a scam.”
Albury police said they had told those who had received the text to delete it straight away while Wodonga police informed people to report the message on the government website Scam Watch.
The nationwide scam has prompted Australian police to call on the FBI to track down the scammers responsible for sending thousands of the same messages.
Alarmed Aussies flooded police hotlines yesterday after receiving the message from a 00000 number.
The text read: “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: killerking247@ yahoo.com”
The hoax is commonly referred to as the “hitman scam”.
Police across the country said there was no real threat and the messages should be ignored and deleted.
Queensland fraud squad Detective Supt Brian Hay said the culprits were probably based overseas but the email account had been traced to a gateway computer in Queensland.
“You will be held accountable,” Supt Hay warned those responsible.
NSW Detective Chief Supt Peter Cotter said state police would contact international agencies for their help.
“There’ll be people we’ll be speaking to, such as the FBI and London Metropolitan Police,” he said.
Supt Cotter said his team was trying to trace the origins of the number and was working with Yahoo to figure out who the email belonged to.
Those responsible for the scam could be charged with using a carriage service to make a threat and could face up to 10 years in jail.