A fraud alert has been released by the Australian Communications and Media Authority warning individuals to be wary of suspicious emails or SMS messages pretending to be online gaming websites offering credit or in-game rewards.
The independent statutory authority of the Commonwealth claims that the scam has been circulated widely since the beginning of this year, after an investigation found over 6,000 email and SMS posts.
Commenting on a “particularly nasty and widespread scam which attempts to prey on people with gambling problems,” the ACMA reports that offshore gambling sites Roo Casino, Pokie Spins, Bonza Spins and Syndicate Casino are the most popular places such messages appear to be coming from.
Fiona Cameron, a member of the ACMA authority, says the organisation has detected a major increase in email and SMS scam reports that seek to persuade people to click on links by providing free upfront credit or free spins offers.
She said: “Scammers are trying to obtain personal details, and to spread computer viruses and malware. If you receive one of these messages, delete it and do not respond or click on any of the links,” she said.
“There’s no such thing as free money. Don’t let yourself be conned into believing you have any credit or bonuses with these casinos – you don’t. This is just a phishing expedition to steal your identity or infect your computer with malicious malware. Remember if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
The ACMA states that it is scaling up its efforts to eliminate telecommunications scams, including delivering on its Combating Scams Action Plan, introducing new rules to deter fraud involving mobile numbers, and providing customer warnings for emerging scams.