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Aussies warned over new 'mum' text message

In the scam text, ‘mum’ says she brought the wrong card to the petrol station.

Mum scam text message
Aussies are being urged to look out for scam text messages sent from their ‘mum’. (Source: The Australian Communications and Media Authority)

If you receive a text message from your ‘mum’ asking for petrol money, it could be a scam.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has warned Aussies about the new scam, which appears to be sent from ‘mum’.

“I’m at the petrol station and brought the wrong card with me. Can you please send me 150. I will pay you back when I get home,” the scam message reads, followed by a BSB and account number.

While ‘Hi mum’ and other scams impersonating family members have been doing the rounds for a while, the ACMA said this new scam was more convincing.

“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,” it said.

“This makes these scams difficult to distinguish from legitimate messages.”

In other versions of the scam, the scammer claims they have forgotten or brought the wrong card when doing errands like getting groceries. Other scams are sent from ‘dad’.

The scammer then asks you to transfer money quickly and provides bank account details.

‘Do not reply’

The ACMA has told Aussies to not reply directly to 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,” it said.

“Never send money without being sure who you are sending it to.”

According to Scamwatch, Aussies lost $2.6 million to ‘Hi mum’ family-impersonation scams in the first seven months of 2022.

In the original ‘Hi mum’ scam, the scammer claims they have changed, lost or damaged their phone and are messaging from their new number. Then, once they develop a rapport with their target, they ask for money to help with an emergency.

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