Monday, 23 January 2023 00:14

ACMA warns new variation of ‘Hi Mum’ SMS scam

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The ACMA has warned the public about the proliferation of the “Hi Mum” text message, which may appear to be from a family member claiming to have forgotten or lost their card and asking the victim to transfer money, and could possibly be a scam.

Scamwatch figures reveal that Australians lost $2.6 million to this scam in the first seven months of 2022.

The message impersonating family members have been circulating for some time.

However, the ACMA is aware of a new, more convincing variation, which labels the sender of the scam message as “Mum” or another family member on your phone.

This makes these scams difficult to distinguish from legitimate messages. Here are the red flags to spot:

1. There will be a sense of urgency. The sender will claim that they forgot or brought the wrong bank/credit card when on a household errand such as getting petrol or groceries that requires money quickly.
2. The sender will ask you to transfer them money electronically and will provide bank account details in the message.
3. Do not reply directly in the message stream. If you are concerned, call or contact your relative on the number already stored in your phone to confirm it's real.

The ACMA is advising the public to never send money without confirming the identity of the recipient.

If users fell victim, contact the financial institution and phone provider and let them know what happened as soon as possible.

This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 20 January 2023.

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Kenn Anthony Mendoza

Kenn Anthony Mendoza is the newest member of the iTWire team. Kenn is also a contributing writer for South China Morning Post Style, and has written stories on Korean entertainment, Asian and European royalty, Millionaires and Billionaires, and LGBTQIA+ issues. He has been published in Philippine newspapers, magazines, and online sites: Tatler PhilippinesManila BulletinCNN Philippines LifePhilippine StarManila Times, and The Daily Tribune. Kenn now covers all aspects of technology news for iTWire.com.

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