Single mom issues warning after texting scam
Single mom victim of widespread texting scam urges others to be vigilant as Christmas approaches.
The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, recently received a text saying a package had been delivered to a drop-off point and asking her to click on a link for more information on the pickup.
“I’m usually someone who likes scams, but I totally fell in love with this one because I have family overseas who I know are sending packages to us,” she said. declared.
“So I was excited and didn’t see all the little details in hindsight that could have made me suspicious. “
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After following the link, she was told that the package had been stopped at the airport and that she would have to pay a $ 4 stamp duty before it was released.
The woman gave her credit card details but the package never materialized.
“After a week I called NZ Post to find out where my package was and they informed me that I had been scammed,” she said.
“My bank said it was getting ripped off and canceled credit cards right now because of the same scam. In my circle of friends and colleagues, I have since heard from another friend who is fell in love and at least 10 other people who received this text last week.
In September, the government cybersecurity agency Cert NZ said there had been an increase in the number of people contacting the Home Office about fraudulent text messages, with 30,000 reported in a single week.
Cert NZ said if phone users clicked on links in text messages, they would be taken to a website that tried to trick them into downloading a malicious app called FluBot.
The malware could then seek to steal information, including internet banking and other passwords, and replicate itself by sending another wave of fraudulent text messages to contacts in the phone’s address book.
“Once a device has been infected with this malicious application, it can lead to significant financial loss,” he said in an advisory.
In the latter case, the woman had $ 80 from her account stolen between providing her details and canceling her card, which she said was around five days.
“The bank tells me I’m lucky it wasn’t over. I’m a busy, horny, ripped single mom, ”she said.
“If I hadn’t called NZ Post to track it down and see where the package was, I still would have had money stolen from my account.”
With many people waiting for package deliveries before Christmas, some would be too busy to see the finer details and could potentially get ripped off, she said.
“I feel so sad that these thieves are getting more and more cunning at deceiving the vulnerable and trusting people. I was really concerned about how easily it was to fall into the trap.
Ashley Kai Fong, head of financial crime at BNZ, said the bank saw no more parcel delivery scams than usual, but it was a scam that “always does round”.
“With Auckland still stuck and online shopping booming, it’s easier to fall victim to these kinds of scams,” he said.
“You can spot them by the unusual URL [website address] they provide to check your status, and they always try to urge you to act lest something bad happen.
The best thing to do was delete them, but those who tapped on a link and gave out personal or financial information should contact their bank as soon as possible, Kai Fong said.
“The sooner we find out, the more likely we are to help you. It’s also worth checking out vulnerable family members in case they too receive a text message like this. “
A Westpac spokesperson said he was working with customers who had been caught in the parcel delivery text scam and had replaced a small number of cards.
Cert NZ advised those affected by the malware to “factory reset” their devices as soon as possible.
This would delete all data from the phone including personal data. Backups created after installing the malware should not be used to restore the phone.
Victims should also change passwords for all of their online accounts.