Scary New Text Scam: Pay or Die
Don't panic, delete texts, urge Aussie cops
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jul 24, 2012 12:28 AM CDT
Updated Jul 24, 2012 12:59 AM CDT
   (CNN via Facebook)

(Newser) – Get ready for a massive new wrinkle in texting scams: death threats. Australian authorities are hunting for crooks who are ordering victims via text to "pay up or die." The texts talk of a contract to kill the textee, who can undo the hit by paying $5,000 following instructions via email. "Sum1 paid me to kill you," read the texts. "Get spared. 48 hours to pay $5,000. If you inform police or anybody death is promised. Email me now." Law enforcement agencies across Australia are alerting people to ignore and immediately delete the threats, and not panic, because "that's what they prey upon," said a police spokesman.

What is "extraordinary is the extent of contact across the Australian landscape," he told CNN. "We've never seen this before." This "is not a random event. This is organized crime," he added, noting the complexities of pulling off such a massive operation. "They've done their research. They've acquired their contact lists. They've paid for the distribution of the text messages."

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