Australians are being hit with a perplexing new text message scam that appears to have been sent from buy now, pay later firms Afterpay and Latitude.
Text messages purported to be from the companies, have been received from a number of Australians over the last two weeks and include a verification code provided for their account.
However, many who have received the text message don’t have an account with either company and the text message reportedly contains no link for recipients to click on which is uncommon for phishing scams.
Despite the baffling nature of the apparent scam, Scamwatch issued a statement warning Australians to “ignore” the message.
“Did you receive an @afterpay_au verification code recently but you’re not a customer? Ignore these and any similar messages,” the statement read.
“Only ever contact businesses via information you have found independently.”
Did you receive an @afterpay_au verification code recently but you’re not a customer? Ignore these and any similar messages. Only ever contact businesses via information you have found independently. Report to https://t.co/8lcfnKfJVE pic.twitter.com/9VtQGDMYzN
— Scamwatch_gov_au (@Scamwatch_gov) July 27, 2022
Latitude confirmed that the alleged scam text message had been “received by non-LatitudePay users” and also assured users that their accounts were safe.
“A number of customers have reported receiving unsolicited verification text messages from LatitudePay,” the company said in a statement.
“Rest assured, your account security has not been compromised and there has been no unauthorised access or activity on your account.
“If you received an unexpected text message from LatitudePay, you can ignore it and delete it from your device.
“Remember – don’t click on any links or respond with personal information if you receive an unexpected text message.
Afterpay also issued a statement, telling customers that they had “received reports of Afterpay users and non-Afterpay users receiving unsolicited text messages.”
“We have sophisticated tools to monitor and respond to these events and we also collaborate with our peers across the information security industry, including government agencies, to address phishing scams,” the statement said.
“You can safely ignore unexpected text messages that appear to be from Afterpay.”
Hi everyone, we are aware of these unexpected Afterpay text messages making the rounds. The best action is to ignore the msg. If you do not have an Afterpay account, this text message does not mean you now have one.
— Afterpay (@afterpay_au) July 18, 2022
Australians have been hard hit by scams recently with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Targeting Scams report finding that Aussies have lost almost $1.8 billion to scams in 2021.
ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard suggests that the public “do not click on any links in messages that come to you out of the blue, and never provide any of your personal or banking details to someone you don’t personally know and trust.”
“If you think something might be legitimate, call the organisation or government agency back using details you find in an independent search, rather than the details provided,” she said.