If you receive a text message saying there is a hit out on you, don't panic.
You may have been targeted by a widespread text message scam that was sent to hundreds of mobile phone numbers across Australia yesterday.
The message reads: ''Sum1 paid me to kill you. get spared, 48hrs to pay $5000. If you inform the police or anybody, death is promised E-mail me now:killerking247@ yahoo.com.''
Acting Inspector Luke Manhood, of Tasmania Police's fraud and e-crime squad, said Tasmanian police received dozens of calls about the bogus threat yesterday.
He said anyone who received that or a similar message should report it on the Scamwatch website and then delete it.
''Because we are aware of it and are now investigating, we don't need any more reports because they are tying up our resources,'' Acting Inspector Manhood said.
''You can imagine that if we have hundreds of people who wish to fulfil their civic responsibility, and tell police, and they call triple-0, that means it takes us longer to answer the calls of people in life-threatening situations.
''Unless there was some ongoing incident, a text message out of the blue is not likely to be genuine.''
Acting Inspector Manhood said the scam had existed in some form since 2006 and was sent out by email or text message.
He said it was likely the scammer used a broadacre distribution program to send the message to thousands of random mobile numbers at the same time.
He said he had investigated similar scams in the past that had originated overseas, but there was no indication as yet where the latest round had come from.
Acting Inspector Manhood said anyone who received suspect electronic contact could check it against a list of known scams at www.scamwatch.gov.au.