Beware of 'blackmail text'

Cyber criminals will do everything they can to steal from people their money, property, and identity. These unscrupulous individuals have brilliant ideas for fraud.

A new tactic called “blackmail text” is being used by online scammers to fool the innocent. This strategy replaced the old but equally notorious method using lottery or promo “winnings” to lure victims.

text scam
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The following is a sample of a “blackmail text” which apparently attempts to attack the receiver’s reputation:

“Magnanakaw daw kayo ng pamilya mo! Nasa www.[domain withheld].com mga muka nyo! Nakakahiya kayong mag anak! Ang cheap nyo talagang lahat!”

Sources say that this SMS is usually sent from two mobile numbers, 09438204280 and 09438204004, in the Philippines.

Normally, the recipient’s initial reaction would be to browse the website using the provided URL (internet address) to verify whether or not his or a family member’s photo is really there.

Because the whole thing is fake, obviously the supposed picture/s is/are nowhere to be found on the site. Relieved, the victim closes the browser and moves on.

What he didn’t know is that by opening the portal, he lets the scammers earn money without a sweat.

For the purpose, cyber criminals use a website with a parked domain (a domain that they own, but has less or no content at all except advertisements).

In other words, the scammers rake dollars from internet traffic courtesy of “blackmail text” victims.

What should people do to avoid it?

Just ignore it, don’t respond to it, don’t click the link, and delete the “blackmail text” or any similar messages immediately. You may also report to authorities if you want it investigated.