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Tuesday, 17 March 2020 11:11

Spike in online casino email, SMS scams warns ACMA Featured

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There has been a significant spike in reports about a new scam in Australia involving suspicious emails or SMS claiming to be from online gambling websites offering credit or in-game bonuses.

The telecommunications regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) says it believes the scam is circulating widely after identifying over 6,000 email and SMS reports since the start of this year.

The ACMA has now issued an alert about the emails and scams which attempt to lure people into clicking on links by promising offers of free upfront credit or free spins.

“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,” ACMA Authority Member Fiona Cameron said.

The most common sites these messages claim to come from are offshore gambling sites:

  • Roo Casino
  • Pokie Spins
  • Bonza Spins
  • Syndicate Casino

Cameron said this is a particularly “nasty and widespread scam” which attempts to prey on people with gambling problems.

“There’s no such thing as free money. Don’t let yourself be conned into believing you have any credit or bonusses with these casinos - you don’t,” Cameron said.

“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.”

Cameron said the ACMA is stepping up its activities to reduce telco scams, including delivering on its Combating Scams Action Plan, making new rules to prevent mobile number fraud and issuing consumer alerts for emerging scam threats.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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