Scammers create SMS competitions or trivia scams to trick you into paying extremely high call or text rates when replying to an unsolicited text message on your mobile or smart phone.
How this scam works
An unsolicited text message may invite you to enter a competition for a great prize—for example, a smart phone or tablet or gift vouchers for a well-known retailer. You will be required to send a text message back. You may also receive an email or encounter a pop-up window online asking you to enter your mobile number in order to claim a prize you’ve supposedly won. Sometimes these come in the guise of a ‘customer survey’ in which you are prompted to provide your mobile number.
Alternatively the message may invite you to take part in a trivia contest with a great prize on offer if you answer a certain number of questions correctly. The first lot of questions will be very easy – scammers do this intentionally to encourage you to keep playing. However, the last one or two questions that you need to answer to claim your ‘prize’ could be very difficult or impossible to answer correctly and may even require you to guess a random number.
The scammers make money by charging extremely high rates for the text messages you send, and any further messages they send to you. These charges will not be made clear to you, and could be as high as $4 for each message sent and/or received. You may also be automatically subscribed to ongoing charges. You will not discover these charges until you see your next itemised phone bill.
List of Scams
Smartphones are becoming a big part of many Australians’ lives but unfortunately scammers also love new technology and will try to take advantage of any opportunities it offers. View this scam awareness video to see ACCC Deputy Chair Peter Kell discuss how you can use your device safely and how to outsmart scammers.
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